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News from the Foundation

Posted: November 12, 2021

APS Education Foundation Announced Fall Grant Award Winners

Nearly $200,000 was awarded to 30 programs and projects.

The APS Education Foundation received 65 grant applications from educators across the district, with the total request adding up to $435,358. On the afternoon of November 9, the Foundation disbursed $192,257 to 30 programs and projects.

Proposals for Classroom & Grade Level Awards, Student Clubs & Activities Awards and the Transformative Idea Grant (the TIG) were reviewed by panels of volunteers, representing corporate, education and community leaders from across the city.  The proposals were blinded, so the reviewers did not know the school or department that was applying.  On October 29th, the 26 panelists made their final decisions after scoring and discussions had taken place.

The two largest grant awards the Foundation disburses annually, the Guhl Early Literacy Award and the Schoolwide Impact Award, were reviewed by the APS Education Foundation’s Board of Directors’ Disbursement Committee.  Finalists in these two categories had to present to the members and answer questions.  The Committee then held discussions and made their final votes. 

The mission of the APS Education Foundation is to partner with the community to invest in innovative and enhanced learning opportunities to help APS students reach their full potential.  This cycle’s grantees proposed to do just that.  The reviewers saw more applications this year that included a strong focus on social emotional learning (SEL).  Educators are ready to engage their students and address mental health and social growth challenges that have been exacerbated by the pandemic. 

In order to provide students with an experience they will never forget as they work as a team, Robyn Clarke and Kiely Banks of Roosevelt Middle School are continuing to build the resources and the partnerships they need to provide innovative programming in the arts.  Ms. Clarke writes, “The goal of ‘It's Showtime!’ is to sponsor a student directed musical production, incorporating students and members of the community in participating in an authentic theater experience. Under student direction, with adult support, students will implement creativity, ingenuity, and be stretched to work collaboratively towards the end goal.”

Wilson Middle School has built a reputation for having a wonderful school garden, and Susan Schipull will be implementing new and innovative programming for the outdoor space.  “Our garden elective classes and the Intensive Global Support Services class will be working together on four project-based learning opportunities using STEM activities and concepts.  We will grow plants in traditional and hydroponics/aquaponics growing systems, make a community seed library, create a student cookbook and use digital and media arts including photography, video creation and writing as a way to tell our garden story, as we continue to grow and improve our garden program,” she writes.  Ms. Schipull joins Rick Sleeter at Eldorado High School, Theresa Rodriguez of San Antonito STEM Magnet Elementary School, Andy Young of Marie M. Hughes Elementary School and Jordy Hicks of Atrisco Heritage Academy High School in moving learning and engagement outdoors to utilize all the benefits these spaces can provide.  

Grantees will lead a wide range of programs, including Esports, archery, 3D printing, band and dance.  There will be new clubs with a focus on the rich cultures of our students and new ways to provide tailored academic support.  This semester’s grantees are thinking outside of the box to develop a love of learning in and outside of the classroom.  These programs and projects have the potential to not only serve the participating educators and students, but they also have the potential to enrich our community. 

Tags: Core Schools