Education Foundation Surpasses $1 Million in Public School Proud Grant Funding

Since March, the Sioux Falls Public Schools Education Foundation has been awarding Public School Proud Grants throughout the Sioux Falls School District. On May 1st, the Education Foundation announced funding for a proposal submitted by Courtney Wynthein at Eugene Field A+ Elementary (https://www.facebook.com/SFPSEF). With that award, the Education Foundation also surpassed $1 million in overall funding for this program.  

Wynthein, the PE and dance teacher, received $1,170 for her project, “Tapping into the Standards Using Our Creative Sides.” With the funds, she will purchase slip-on tap shoes that will be used by 400 kindergarten through fifth grade students. In the application, she wrote, “Our school is incredibly lucky to have our own dance studio. Unfortunately, we do not have tap shoes. If we were able to purchase tap shoes, students would be able to learn basic steps and routines during their weekly dance classes. Teacher can use the tap shoes to enhance their curriculum and lessons. For example, when students learn rhythm through tap, they are studying ratios, fractions, and proportions to improve math skills. Tap dancing improves listening and social skills, balance, control, and coordination. This is a fantastic opportunity for teachers to engage their students in a hands-on artistic way.”

Since the Education Foundation was chartered, the organization has been providing innovative, educational opportunities and filling funding gaps that impact 25,0000 students and 3,500 staff members in the Sioux Falls School District. Through the Public School Proud Grant Program, any educator can apply for up to $10,000 to purchase materials that enhance student engagement. With grant dollars, teachers have purchased robots, weather stations, photography equipment, drones, health science simulation mannequins, pickleball equipment, musical instruments, neuroscience kits, 3D printers, marble-powered computers, sensory items, self-regulation tools, and more.

“We were thrilled to fund Mrs. Wynthein’s proposal, and we are excited for the students who will have the chance to use the tap shoes to learn new skills next year,” said Allison Struck, executive director of the Education Foundation. “Public School Proud Grants give us an opportunity to celebrate educators who are going above and beyond to find new ways to engage their students.”

Since March 2024, Education Foundation staff have announced 60 grants, for a total of $118,000 in funding.