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Education Foundation Awards $75K For Teacher Projects

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Park City Education Foundation

In 1986, the Park City Education Foundation was formed as a way to funnel privately raised funds to Park City teachers for needs that were otherwise unfunded. Since then more than $10.5 million has been raised – about $75,000 of that from this year. 32 years later, the teacher grants are still being funded. KPCW’s Leslie Thatcher has more.

In 1986, a $2,000 grant was awarded to send two students to space camp at Stanford. This year, the Park City Education Foundation teacher grants committee awarded $75,000 to local classrooms. Foundation Director Abby McNulty says they’ve come a long way from the when the program first started…

 “Every year we have about the same of money to distribute to teachers through this program. What changes a little bit are the themes that come in. We see themes every year of what’s being requested and also the number of requests. We funded about 28 grants and had about 50 grants come into the organization. We have  a team of  board members and community members who gather for about 3 hours all together and then invest additional hours prior to that reading the grants to make decisions.”

The grant money is raised every year from the community. Two endowments fund only about $5-thousand of the $75,000. In addition to the fundraising, this year McNulty says they received grants from The Fey Family Foundation, Deer Valley Resort and an anonymous donor.

Board member and a member of the grants committee Jodey Fey says selecting the programs to fund isn’t easy.

 “Well we had over $150,000 in asks and only $75,000 to give, so it is not easy. We read, we talk about it, we have representatives from every school there as well as community members and parents who have gone through the school so they understand the programs. And we partially fund some and fully fund as many as we can in order to help the teachers. 

Still, a little bit of money can go a long way…

Andrea Solem at Ecker asked for $250 which we funded for an ELA Escape Room. So, she’s creating an ELA Escape Room and giving the kids a different way of learning and presenting just a different opportunity with only $250. Another one I loved is Treasure Mountain is getting their first STEM room – a maker space. Every other school had a maker space. Treasure Mountain has been put on hold because for years it was, let’s see if we pass our bond, then the bond failed them it’s been now, we can’t do anything because we don’t know whats's going to happen to the building.  And Emily, the principal over there, wrote a phenomenal grant saying our kids deserve this and it’s at every other school. So, we were able to fund $15,000 and give them their first room.”

They will make room for the STEM room in the library. A link to the entire list of projects is here.

Tough but fair, Leslie is the woman most of Park City wakes up with every weekday morning. Leslie has been at KPCW since 1990 and her years at KPCW have given her depth and insight, guiding her as she asks local leaders and citizens the questions on everyone’s minds during the live interviews of the Local News Hour.
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