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Posted March 21, 2013

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2012-2013 Seeds of Learning Mini-Grants Bringing Great Teaching Ideas To Life

The APS Education Foundation Seeds of Learning program was designed years ago to help classroom teachers enhance and update curriculum, access needed materials and supplies for classroom activities, and bring to life that great idea for teaching and learning.

Kennedy MS teacher Steve McGuinness submitted a request for a project entitled STEM Outreach – Science Olympiad, Science Bowl and Alternative Fuel. Here, Kennedy MS students work on a project.

Fondly nicknamed the “Hugs” program, because the surprise delivery of a check to a classroom teacher never fails to produce a hug and an exclamation of joy, Seeds of Learning (SOL) has supported hundreds of educators since its inception in 2006.   The small grant program was suggested as an offshoot of the larger Join-a-School Creative Grants as a way to help teachers keep from going in to their own pockets in order to implement creative and meaningful classroom activities.  The New Mexico Educators Federal Credit Union, a longstanding and valued business partner to APS, has long been a champion of the program by directing funds from the Community Rewards program to support Seeds of Learning.

Other APSEF business partners have embraced the Seeds concept over the years.  This year’s group of grants was also sponsored, for the third year in a row, by Suits Unlimited and Cabot Superior Micropowders.  Suits Unlimited has been donating $10 back to the APSEF Join-a-School SOL program for every prom tuxedo rented and donations have reached almost $6,000.  Cabot’s online grant process and Community Involvement Committee have been instrumental in selecting SOL as a recipient for financial support.

This year almost 40 grants totaling a little over $8,000 were awarded from the APS Education Foundation to support a variety of creative and clever classroom ideas that support Common Core standards and the school’s Educational Plan for Student Success (EPSS).  Activities ranged from Hands On Equations Algebra, to a Common Core Reading & Listening Center, to Super Science for Super Students, to Architects in the Making.  Other funded projects included Math Mania!, Linking Literature to Math, Small Group Phonics Phones, Discovering Community and Culture, Independence in the Kitchen, “App’lying Apps (Applications) for Education, and Our Toilet Water Goes Where? We Drink What? 

Over 20 schools received at least one Seeds of Learning award this year.  Winning applicants are required to send receipts or expense accountability and a digital picture of a grant activity back to the APSEF JAS Partnerships Office by April 30, 2013.  Seeds of Learning has been “the little grant program that could” for many years and the APS Education Foundation appreciates all the creative teachers and generous business partners that help to make it a success.

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