Education foundation awards nearly $10,000 to East Grand Forks teachers

The mini-grants aim to support and enhance educational programs for all students in the East Grand Forks Public School District, foundation acting president Holly Wavra told the board at their regular meeting Monday, May 24.

“Our job as stewards of this foundation is to support and enhance the work that the East Grand Forks School District in itself is doing, but cannot do alone, so we are going to work synergistically with you to support those needs,” she said.

The foundation has more than 180 members, including district alumni, community members and local businesses, and has given more than $115,000 in grants to the district since 2013.

This year, the recipients of the largest grant were East Grand Forks Senior High industrial technology teaching staff: Jared Sanger, Patrick Compton and Robert Hapka. Their $5,000 grant will help fund the purchase of a CNC plasma cutting table, which will be used across departments at the high school.

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East Grand Forks Senior High School art teacher Jessica Genett received a $1,100 grant that will fully fund her project “Beyond the Selfie.” The funds will be used to purchase a laser printer and supplies for her new photography class and future graphic design class.

East Grand Forks Senior High School choir teacher Donovan Hanson also received $1,100, which will fulfill half of the cost of starting up a new piano lab at the high school. The grant funds will be used to purchase four full keyboards and sustain pedals.

At New Heights Elementary School, a project led by special education teacher Hailey Karas, first grade teacher Kori Hedlund, second grade teacher Kylie Melby and paraprofessional Alicia Moore received a grant of $850. The grant will be used to purchase supplies to create sensory pathways and sensory break tools that will be used across grade levels.

Third grade South Point Elementary School teacher Livia Zitzow received $721.51 for a Balance-Auditory-Visual Exercises “Bal-A-Vis-X” program, including training DVDs, manuals and equipment, to help increase student focus. For now, it’s just planned for use among third grade students, but could be used for all South Point students at a future time.

Central Middle School teacher Hannah Driscoll received $644.65 to update fax room equipment for 4H and Family, Career and Community Leaders of America programming.

Senior high school Spanish teacher Karly Von Rueden received a grant of $500 to purchase noise-filtering headphones with adjustable mics for her classroom. The headsets will give students the ability to individually hear and speak to the instructor in the targeted language.

Addressing the school board, Wavra emphasized that the foundation is funded by member donations, and encouraged local families to continue to support their public school district.

“We’re very excited to see the collaboration amongst departments, among schools, amongst how they’re using the funds,” she said. “We really look forward to future submissions.”

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