The Park City Education Foundation is making changes in their teacher grants program. They raise money in the community to support their vision to launch well prepared, curiosity driven, creative, citizens of the world. They funnel the money they raise to support teacher projects that would otherwise not be possible to sustain. This year, they selected 22 of 50 teacher grant submissions.
The Park City Education Foundation awarded more than $70,000 to teacher grant programs. They have a grant committee made up of volunteers which include parents and other members of the community. Program Director Kara Cody explains that some of the programs that aren’t chosen to receive funding will be able to access support through other means.
“We try to make it really a cross section of what our community is like. All schools are represented by parents and others that serve on the committee. Unfortunately, the pie is only so big so we can only fund so much. You know there were several grant applications that unfortunately we weren't able to find but their local school PTO’s were able to step in and help fund.”
One program Cody highlights is a hydroponic system requested by a teacher at Ecker Hill Middle School. She says it’s an off shoot of the maker space and Technology Student Association. She says it encompasses much more than gardening.
It was cross disciplinary and brings in just a lot of different curriculum where students learn how to grow plants indoors and also responds to like food insecurity. So, it wasn't just like science or math but it really kind of tied in some social studies and just other curriculum as well.
This year they funded a maker space at Treasure Mountain Junior High School, which is the last school in the district to allocate a hands-on, collaborative, creative space. Education Foundation Director Abby McNulty says they’ve invested in maker spaces in all the schools now.
“And kids at Ecker have this amazing makerspace run by Brad Gannon and Trent Marshall and so we wanted to make sure that that continuity existed for kids once they got to treasure and the new principle Caleb fine is all about it and is really digging in.”
Last year the Ed Foundation gathered input from parents and educators and have changed the timing for funding teacher grants. Instead of doing it twice a year, they’ll allocate money to teacher projects once a year. They’re planning to allocate $400,000 in 2020.
“So, we’re doubling the commitment to teacher grants this year and putting that on top of our typical spring grant distribution. We don't want to leave any classrooms, teachers or kids at a loss because of our administrative change.”
Teachers can contact Kara Cody at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at her in school extension of 1805. If interested in following the grants the Ed Foundation funds, the links can be found on KPCW.org