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Kalispell Education Foundation Awards overĀ $9,000 to Innovative Projects For Teachers

    The Kalispell Education Foundation (KEF) completed their final round of funding for the 2016- 2017 school year, bringing the total of funding awarded via the Great Opportunity Grant program to over $9,000. Every year, teachers in Kalispell Public Schools can apply for funding for their special projects through this grant program. This year, all teachers that applied received funding for their projects.

    Grants are made possible through a combination of partnerships and public and private donations. This year’s projects ran the gambit—from attendance to art, science and reading materials for middle school students. Seven total project were funded this year including:

   The Northwest Montana Association of Realtors Foundation was the major funding partner for this cycle, thanks to their $4,700 donation to fund technology for all students in one third grade classroom. KEFThis project will serve as a pilot project for School District 5 and provide valuable data as to the merits of one-on-one technology in classrooms. The project, titled ‘Passion Projects at Hedges Elementary’ enables independent research skills, presentation skills and collaborative skills that are the hallmark of 21st century learners. Technology teacher Erin Landrum applied for the grant.

   ‘Board Games Not Bored Games’ at Kalispell Middle School provides students an opportunity to increase social interactions and reduce behavioral issues during the chaos of lunchtime. Students volunteer to run a check out table where traditional board games with strategic and relevant skill building capacity are available for use. Success will be measured by the change in school climate during lunch. Science teacher Carter Eash wrote this $950 grant and community partners included Target, Western Building Center and Imagination Station.

   ‘Professional Band Accompaniment for a Fifth-Grade Musical’ funded a live musical at Elrod. Preparation for this live musical at Elrod Elementary builds memorization and performance skills plus a love of music. The purpose of the band is to bring community and schools together and expose families who otherwise would not have a chance to see live music. Students ultimately gain a sense of self-worth and accomplishment from this collaborative project—and an entire community unites to see everyone perform together. Anna Marie Bailey was the sponsoring donor for this project. Music teacher Amanda Sienknecht applied for this $400 grant.

   ‘Manga Madness for Middle Schoolers’ at the Kalispell Middle School Library motivates readers during a critical time in their development as lifelong readers and learners. Manga are Japanese styled novels that use more pictures than traditional novels. Because of this graphic element, manga appeals to a group of readers that might otherwise not come to the library or read which exposes reading and libraries to new students. Middle school librarian Jana Warnell applied for this $1,035 grant.

   ‘Make Your Own Wall-E’ combines electrical and wiring skills into one final project at the Agricultural Education Center. This hands-on project incorporates a variety of skills—construction, welding and electrical—while also teaching kids that they can build something rather than buying it. Susan Schmid, CPA was the sponsoring donor for this project and teacher Layne Taylor applied for this $528 grant.

   ‘Rock-n-Roll Drum Set for Elementary Musicals’ at Edgerton Elementary engages students in performance opportunities and appeals to students who have an inclination toward percussion. These drums add a unique rock and roll element to every music class and are available to students throughout the year. The added performance aspect encourages active engagement in learning as students read music. Music teacher Mike Casey applied for this $750 grant.

    Attendance Matters at the Middle School uses small incentives to encourage attendance, particularly in hard to reach or at risk groups. This grant recognizes attendance improvement as well as attendance excellence. Target was a sponsoring partner. Attendance Matters is part of a larger effort and new partners and incentives are always welcome. The counseling department at Kalispell Middle School applied for this $650 grant.

   Kalispell Education Foundation is a non-profit that enriches, enhances and supports Kalispell Public Schools. For more information on Great Opportunity Grants or becoming a donor to Kalispell Education Foundation contact Christine Hensleigh at hensleighc@sd5.k12.mt.us or call 751-3432. 

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