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USD 428 receives grants, donations
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District enrollment down

Great Bend has started the fall semester with about 60 fewer students than last year, Superintendent Brad Reed said.
Next Monday, Sept. 21, is the date for the official head count that goes to the state.
If enrollment is going  to decrease, this is a good year for it, Reed said. The state has changed its funding formula and districts aren’t being penalized for lower enrollment. For that reason, the district has also turned down requests to accept transfer students from other districts.
Reed said he doesn’t know why enrollment has dropped so much this year, but he said 15 to 20 percent (nine to 12 students) could be because the school district isn’t taking transfer students this year.

The school board officially accepted several gifts and a grant application when it met Monday.
• Jean Cavanaugh donated $250 to the playground equipment initiative at Park Elementary School.
• Contributions in the amount of $780 were donated in memory of Don McLaughlin, a Great Bend High School graduate and an avid golfer, with funds to be utilized by GBHS golf.
• Great Bend Regional Hospital donated $100 to Riley Elementary School for open house events during the school year. Riley staff will use the money to buy materials for home/school kits as door prizes. Kits will include basic school supplies and family game night supplies.
• GBHS science instructor Ken Botzung was notified by Cox Charities of a $5,000 Innovation in Education grant award for the program entitled “Physical Anatomy and Physiology – a Vocational Approach.” The money will be used for equipment and other instructional enhancement.
• Community Bank of the Midwest donated $500 to USD 428’s One District – One Book program. Superintendent Brad Reed said that there has been no cost to the district for this program, thanks to donations from the Great Bend USD 428 Education Foundation, local banks and Walmart. Next Monday elementary children in the district will receive the book, “The World According to Humphrey.” They will all attend school assemblies and watch a video of the superintendent reading the first chapter to them.
Great Bend will be the first school district in Kansas to formally use the One District – One Book program. Reed described it as “an opportunity for kids and parents to reconnect over reading.” He hopes to have adults and children reading together in the district, their families and the community.
• As reported in the Sept. 13 Great Bend Tribune, Dollar General Literacy Foundation awarded Eisenhower Elementary School a $2,500 grant to support its VIP Lunch Club program.
The board also gave the faculty at Jefferson Elementary School the green light to submit a grant request to Blue Cross Blue Shield for $1,000 for the benefit of students. The title is “Healthy Habits for Life,” and the funds would be used to promote physical activity and to reduce cardiovascular risk factors.