The Foundation awarded 11 grants worth more than $14,000 to eight schools as part of its bus tour on Friday, April 29.
Staff members receiving grants included Elm Lawn’s Amy Holt, Kromrey’s Fred Bartman, Northside’s Carrianne Baumgart and Travis Follen, Park’s Jodi Klare, Sauk Trail’s John Becker, Ann O’Rourke and Amy Galassi and West Middleton’s Erin Lettau.
In addition, an MHS student services team was awarded a grant to help pay for Respect Week, while Tri 4 Schools executive director Katie Hensel received a grant to help with an after school exercise program at Elm Lawn. Also, former staff member Kathy Nieber-Lathrop and four students were awarded separate grants for Clark Street Community School.
It is the first year the Foundation has gone to a single grant cycle. Between 2013-2015, the Foundation held grant cycles twice a year, in the spring and fall.
The Foundation has now awarded more than 60 grants totaling approximately $50,000 since it begin issuing grants in 2013. Every District school has received multiple grants.
The Foundation also plans to award two more grants later this spring, including a $1,250 grant from the State Bank of Cross Plains that focuses on financial literacy and a $500 grant from Galin Education.
The 2-hour, 30-minute yellow bus tour included stops at all of the schools. MHS band members played “On Wisconsin” in each of the schools before executive director Perry Hibner presented each recipient with flowers donated by Copps and a certificate.
“Our bus tours to announce our teacher grants is always an amazing experience for everyone involved,” Hibner said. “To see the looks on the faces of students and staff when the band walks in and begins playing is priceless.
“We are thrilled to be able to help our top-notch teachers transform their innovative and creative ideas into real-life ‘inspiring experiences’ for our students with a grant from the Foundation.”
Other Foundation board members who attended part or all of the celebration included Superintendent Don Johnson, vice chair Rick Sanders treasurer Steph Mueller and members Tom Kobinsky, Bill Reis and Melodee Vogt.
Hibner noted it is the second consecutive time the Foundation was able to fully fund every grant that was selected during a cycle.
Lettau received $980 to purchase two Chromebooks and six licenses to help West Middleton kindergarten students with phonemic awareness, comprehension, fluency, vocabulary and writing.
O’Rourke and Galassi received $1,303 to purchase more materials for a Makerspace that has been available to all Sauk Trail students for the first time during their lunch recess this year. The Makerspace philosophy embraces process-oriented learning and open-ended activities.
Becker received a grant of $500 to pay for two professional dance instructors to work with Sauk Trail students in developing the choreography and a vocabulary of dance movements appropriate to hip hop music. Every student at the school will participate and benefit from the program. It is the third time Becker has been awarded a grant from the Foundation.
Klare received $2,500 to develop a butterfly garden, bird sanctuary or another outdoor space. The project will be developed by Park students. The funds will be used to purchase materials, tools, art supplies, structures and any plants that might be needed. It is the second time Klare has written a grant that has been funded by the Foundation.
Baumgart and Follen received $1,500 to purchase tool kits and picture books, pay a speaker and fund a culminating activity for the advisory group, which involves every Northside student and nearly every staff member. The monthly program has been a huge success in its first two years.
Bartman received $1,000 to pay for an end-of-year dinner celebration for mentors, mentees and their families. The dinner is a chance to discuss and celebrate what every Kromrey student has achieved during the school year. More than 30 students received mentoring help this year.
Hensel was awarded $1,000 to help pay for transportation and healthy snacks for Exercise to Achievement, an after-school program at Elm Lawn Elementary that runs for six weeks and helps students improve their fitness and prepare to participate in the Tri 4 Schools triathlon.
Counselor Amy Holt received $500 grant for supplies, a field trip and end-of-year celebration to support a mentoring partnership between MHS students in the Student Voice Union and minority students at Elm Lawn. The program has produced great results in its first year.
Nieber-Lathrop, a master gardener, received $486 to purchase plants and supplies for a student-led seminar at CSCS on the elaborate style of gardening. Students will also visit local sites, learn about native Wisconsin plants and discuss integration of rain garden principles.
CSCS students Natalie Krogull, Ben Miller, Jenna Studee and Elizabeth Gilliland received $2,000 to develop a community bike shop, bike mechanics program and bike riding club that could lead to a business opportunity. Funds will be used to purchase five workstations, a bike repair kit and general supplies.
A grant of $3,000 will pay community presenters, purchase art supplies and fund publicity for Respect Week, which will return to MHS for the first time in years and take place the week of Nov. 28-Dec. 2, 2016. Every teacher and student at MHS is expected to participate.
Since its inception in 2011, the Foundation has also raised nearly $200,000 for its endowment fund though Madison Community Foundation. If you would like to contribute to the Foundation’s endowment fund, please visit Foundation’s website. If you would like to sponsor a grant in 2016, please e-mail Foundation executive director Perry Hibner or call him at 829-9014