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The Great Minigrant Reveal
Education Foundation funds innovative projects
MelEesa Stueder makes out an oversized check being held by Kevin Keller and Tim Friess while Randy Wetzel and Khris Thexton wait in the background. The checks were awarded to minigrant-winning teachers for use in their classrooms. - photo by Photo courtesy of USD 428

The Great Bend USD 428 Education Foundation recently awarded $15,633.49 in minigrants to educators in local schools. The Foundation awarded 27 minigrants ranging from less than $100 more than $1,500. In addition, the foundation funded three projects that did not meet the specific requirements for minigrants, bringing the total financial contribution to nearly $17,000.
Teachers apply for grants that help provide for innovative teaching supplies that are outside the normal school budget.
“This is one way we can support and give back to our local educators,” said Paul Snapp, foundation president. “It’s one of the really fun, satisfying things we do.”
Foundation members presented an oversized check and balloons to recipients.

The mini-grant recipients, their schools and projects, are:

Eisenhower Elementary School
• Brandi Boese, $80.99 for products help explore phonics, memory, problem solving, story telling, motor skills, number sense and hand eye coordination.
• Kelly Noland, $472.26 for alternative chair seating to best meet the needs of students.
• Priscilla Rose, $289.19 for group math concept games to give students the opportunity to work with peers on their level.

Jefferson Elementary
• Sarah Irwin, $273.90 for Expanding Expression, a multi-sensory language materials tool kit to aid in learning
• Janell Foote, $340.64 for math night materials to expose students and parents to different ways math can be practiced using dominoes.
• Pamela Jordan and Abby Jonas, $923.28 for manipulative materials for group activities that target specific reading and math skills.

Lincoln Elementary
• Connie Ward, $529 a steamroller for kids with neurological processing disorders such as autism.
• Kylee Graves, $500 for All Stars curriculum material to delay the onset of drugs, alcohol use and negative behavior.
• Carol McAtee, Jessica Ferguson and Jessica Geist, $990 to have a Lincoln Math Night. It will feature concrete, representation, and abstract math strategies to help students and parents with math facts.
• Lindsay Mazouch, $800 for Breakfast EDU kits to promote critical thinking, collaboration, creativity and communication.

Park Elementary
• Dara Touslee, kindergarten teacher at Park Elementary, $491.81 for hands-on math centers help students to practice and apply skills and strategies taught within the curriculum.
• Leah Yancey, $467.82 for alternative chair seating to best meet the needs of students.
• Signe Cook, fifth grade at Park, $472.99 for humanoid robot to help students learn about computer/robot programming.
• Amber Shattuck and Trisha Ryff, $298.66 for pop phones to plug into the headphone jack of iPads so students can record themselves reading.

Riley Elementary
• Michelle Daniel, $620 for All Stars curriculum material to delay the onset of drugs, alcohol and negative behavior.

Washington Early Education Center
• Clarissa McCormick, $419.45, adaptive switches to provide easier access for communication for students who have limited verbal skills.

Great Bend Middle School
• Jennifer Christiansen, $296.01 for a camera to create a digital portfolio and to expand the current curriculum to digital photography.
• Stacey Magnett and Tina Steinert, $746 for materials to cultivate interest for research on historical topics of their choice and develop enhanced research skills.
• Stacey Magnett and Jessica Stryker, $800 to bring history alive with a Native American tipi and learning of Plains Indians and Kansas early settlers.

Great Bend High School
• Heather Cleveland, $580 for a six-step problem identification process for engineering and design.
• Dawn Galusha, $662 for Brewing Independence, teaching real-life applications through hands on business experience.
• Kim Heath, $216.53 to bring Shakespeare to life in the classroom using props and oral readings.
• Dan Heath, $1,549.99, for a broadcast studio/live streamer. The wireless recording device with multi-camera studio environment will offer live-stream capabilities for activities, sports and meetings.
• Travis Straub, $310.81 for a high technology finishing device for student woodworking projects.
• Jake Hofflinger, $488.86 for drone technology. Students will receive hands-on experience with the emerging drone technologies.
• Susan Stambaugh, $1,018.30 for two Bose sound units for performances in the auditorium, classroom and community performances.
• Kevin Hoff, $1,015 for a CNC machine to produce quality metal fabrication projects that are requested by members of the community.

Also funded, but not as mini-grants:
• Eric Dowson, Park School, $440 for Kansas history presented to students musically during a student assembly.
• Allana Blessing, Park School, $600 training for a Professional Therapy Dog (her 4-year-old Golden Retriever) to reduce stress levels and anxiety, allowing students to focus on academics.
• Kathy Davis, Great Bend High School, $250 for a Freshman Orientation speaker. A dynamic, outgoing, positive message will be delivered to incoming freshman this fall.
In addition to photos of grant recipients shown here, all of the photos will be posted at later this week.