22 Innovation in Education Grants Awarded

The Education Foundation recently awarded Innovation in Education Grants totaling more than $57,000 to faculty members in Sioux Falls Public Schools.

“The Education Foundation Board and staff were thrilled to award 22 grants this spring! The teachers had so many creative ideas, and their enthusiasm was evident in the applications,” said Allison Struck, executive director. “Students who will be in these classrooms next year will have some incredible opportunities.”

In many instances, grant recipients were surprised in an award presentation at their school by a group of grant contributors and Education Foundation Board members.

“Special thanks to Hy-Vee for donating all of the balloon and candy bouquets. The Prize Patrol was definitely a highlight for donors, Board members, and the grant recipients,” Struck said.

The grants will fund a variety of projects at elementary, middle and high schools across the Sioux Falls District. For example, faculty members Jessi McCormick and Kristy Dillon at Hawthorne Elementary were awarded $4,999 to acquire curriculum materials to implement a program to make recess periods more organized and productive for students. Kristine Smith, an occupational therapist for the district, received $2,600 to make toys switch-accessible for students with mobility needs.

Donations to the Foundation enabled the organization to fund about 58 percent of the grant requests it received. The group hopes to raise more money for grants in the future.

Here is a complete list of grant winners for the 2019-2020 school year. Each entry begins with the grant title, followed by the amount, the recipients, and their school or base.

  • “Mindfulness Matters – Social Emotional Learning Resources for the Classroom.” $3,728.24. Kate Marchand, Johanna Artz, Stefanie Hage, and Sierra O’Donnell. Eugene Field A+ Elementary School.
  • “ClassVR – Virtual Reality in the Classroom.” $2,896.00. Taylor Huska, Ben Short, Marissa Chau, and Michelle Clark. Memorial Middle School.
  • “STEM Tools for Engaging Science Activities.” $1,661.93. Nicole VanderWolde, Robert Wilson, Deb Sanborn, and Ryan Rank. Memorial.
  • “If a Picture is Worth a Thousand Words, a Prototype is Worth a Thousand Pictures.” $1,248.00. Nicole Highby. R.F. Pettigrew Elementary School.
  • “Enhancing Learning Through Osmos.” $702.79. Amy Dreke. R.F. Pettigrew.
  • “Lighting Up Learning.” $893.98. Kayci Halbersma. R.F. Pettigrew.
  • “Watch Me Uke, Now Watch Me Lele.” $1,799.60. Victoria Hyder. Oscar Howe Elementary School.
  • “Unique Learning Experiences with Robotics.” $2,472.00. Pam Espeland. Susan B. Anthony Elementary School.
  • “Lighting the Way to STEAM.” $1,238.16. Paula Parrish. Susan B. Anthony.
  • “Developing a Sensory Aware Classroom.” $1,077.07. Kristen Engelson. Susan B. Anthony.
  • “Growing a Healthy Space.” $1,060.26, Brooke Knudson. Horace Mann Elementary School.
  • “Light Sensory World.” $743.91. Rachel Rivera-Nemmers and Esperanza Langle. Sonia Sotomayor Spanish Immersion Elementary School.
  • “Sensory Path Integration for All.” $3,700.00. Allie DeJong. Lowell Elementary School.
  • “Playaway with a Purpose.” $4,366.18. Korey Erickson. Robert Frost Elementary School.
  • “Be in the Zone: Social Learning is for Everyone.” $2,500.00. Carol Beldin. Instructional Planning Center.
  • “Do You Hear What I Read?” $2,551.11. Sherri Wolles. McGovern Middle School.
  • “Self-Regulation in Flexible Seating.” $2,000.00. Heather Maschino, Cassandra Schroeder, Shelby Merritt, and Cassidy Grizzard. McGovern.
  • “Restructuring Recess.” $4,999.00. Jessi McCormick and Kristy Dillon. Hawthorne Elementary School.
  • “Project iPads: Innovative Projects for Accelerated and Driven Students.” $5,242.00. Meghan WoundedHead. Washington High School.
  • “Virtual Reality Brings the World to Students.” $5,342.00. Britt Sampson. Washington.
  • “Adapted Toy Lending Program.” $2,600.00. Kristine Smith. IPC.
  • “Teach Me To Talk Using PODD As I Have More to Say.” $4,320.10. Terri Noldner, Nicole Freeman, Heather Hinners, Becky Whitlock, Amy Zimmerman, and Amy Koch. IPC.

Corporate donors for the Education Foundation’s annual grant program include:

  • Principal’s Circle ($10,000 or more): The Independent Insurance Agents of Sioux Falls, and the Mary Chilton Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution
  • Valedictorian ($5,000 to $9,999): The First National Bank in Sioux Falls; First PREMIER Bank/Bankcard; Scheels; and SDN Communications
  • Merit Scholar ($1,000 to $4,999): Architecture Incorporated;  Avera Health; CorTrust Bank;  Dakota Sports; Davenport, Evans, Hurwitz & Smith; Egger Steel Company; EideBailly, LLP; First Bank & Trust; Howalt + McDowell Insurance; Hy-Vee; KELO-TV, School Bus Inc.; and Woods, Fuller, Shultz & Smith.
  • Honor Roll ($500 to $999): The Barrel House, and Kouri Insurance
  • Student of the Week ($100 to $499): Costco, and Koch Hazard Architects
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