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Education Foundation funds innovative plans, student enrichment for 19 classrooms
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“Granting wishes” is an annual highlight for the USD 428 Education Foundation. Fueled by community support and an annual fundraising dinner and auction each fall, the Education Foundation distributed a total of $12,095 in minigrants for teachers across USD 428 this spring. Teachers can apply for grants to fund innovative initiatives and projects in their classroom, items that fall outside the normal school budget. 

Foundation board members recently surprised teachers in their classrooms to award the minigrants. “Something that surprised me was the excitement and cheers from the students,” said Tina Mingenback, vice president of the Education Foundation. “It was a joy to see the students join us in celebrating and congratulating the hard work of their teachers, even though it will be next year’s students who benefit from the new equipment and purchases.”

The USD 428 Education Foundation looks for every opportunity to connect the community to the classroom and foster relationships. Other projects funded by the Education Foundation in the past include top 10% senior awards, student recognition programs, and orientation speakers. 

Eisenhower Elementary:

• Kristine Boepple, $374.35, Qball microphone/speaker tool to foster student engagement

• Rachel Clawson, $249.85, purchase of VersaTiles to allow students to engage in independent learning

• Cathie Haberman, $500.00, noise canceling headphones for students with sensory issues

• Jessica Nelson and Hannah Degenhardt, $670.28, purchase of Switches to provide easier access for communication for students with limited verbal skills, motor skills, or are non-verbal

• Kelly Noland, $493.55, math games to encourage learning of various math skills

• Kaitlynn Tuey, $478.01, phonological and Number games for student engagement

Jefferson Elementary: 

• Catrina McGurk, Natalie DeForest, and Janell Foote, $521.36, purchase of portable seating to allow students to have a surface to work, in non-traditional locations, during interventions

• Katie Zimmerman, $1,500, purchase of Sensory Walk to encourage higher attention rates and lower behavior disruptions in the classroom

Lincoln Elementary: 

• Stephanie Webster, $487.84, purchase flexible seating to allow movement in class

Park Elementary: 

• Signe Cook, $472.89, purchase an EZ Robot to assist in studying space and earth systems

• Dara Touslee, $491.51, purchase wireless headphones to improve students reading and communication

• Amber Shattuck, $432.95, purchase OSMO Genius Kits to transform iPads into learning tools

• Leah Yancey, $480.25, purchase flexible seating along with a Qball, allowing students to wobble, rock and bounce

Elementary Library Services:

• Joy Boyd, $687.63, purchase Folktales Meets STEM to building problem solving skills through the knowledge of folktales

Great Bend High School:

• Kenneth Allan Botzung, $352, purchase of life-sized models of human anatomy to study and perform practical examinations

• Dan Heath, $1,193.96, purchase 3 additional video cameras to support students as they plan, shoot, edit, and publish video content to learn video production

• Jake Hofflinger, $503.96, purchase of Vex Robotics to participate in a global Problem Solving challenges

• Andrea Stalcup, $1,500, purchase enhancement tools for Anatomy & Physiology knowledge & skills, reproduction educational tools to gain deeper knowledge of human anatomy

• Travis Straub, $704.90, purchase a small lathe to turn wood into piece that form pens and animal calls