In this new 2020-2021 school year, with so many uncertainties … one thing remained certain. The APS Education Foundation Board of Trustees would continue their mission by partnering with the community to invest in innovative and enhanced learning opportunities to help APS students reach their full potential.
Mark Burkhard of Southwest Capital Bank, who is the finance chairman of the board, said, “That’s what we’re here for, that’s why we manage this money so carefully. We need to distribute this money to teachers and the district when they need it most. “
Despite the economic hardships, corporate partners and individual donors have invested in our educators to support students. There was a lot of need for programs that meet old and new challenges… but would APS employees ask for funding?
The answer was yes. Even without knowing how they would teach this last school year, educators knew they had to teach and students had to commit to learning. The Foundation has received nearly a million dollars in requests!
Whether it was classroom projects, clubs and activities, or school and district-wide initiatives, the Foundation’s fall award winners were ready to jump in and go. make adjustments if necessary. Many programs provided families with books to read at home and online, creating a sense of community. Apache Elementary School received a Guhl Literacy Award for “A School, A Book Using Early Literacy To Combat Bullying In Apache”. Using literature to address social-emotional learning was an initiative that was supposed to take place on campus, but that didn’t stop Michelle Waldrop and her staff from stepping in and adjusting their plans for an environment of distance learning! Next year the program will continue with lessons learned and new ideas! Students coded with Micro: Bits from their homes last year thanks to Flora Lewis from Los Ranchos Elementary School. Much has been learned and can be applied to in-person learning which will benefit EG Ross Elementary School which is launching “Micro: Bits = Macro: Learning” led by Christy Snell.
Katrina Wagner of Sandia National Laboratories is the Board’s Disbursement Chair. “It has been exciting to lead the Disbursements Committee this year as we have seen incredibly innovative funding requests come in during uncertain times,” she writes. “What comes to my mind is how Lew Wallace Elementary used his funding to turn his homework lunch into a virtual platform that continued to provide a healthy meal at home to engage families. , homework help for students and story time after dinner. . They even brushed their teeth together! I loved how they kept the connection together as a school community when we all felt so far apart.
After the fall grant cycle, the spring grant cycle applications further proved how innovative and upbeat educators are across the district. A total of 79 programs and projects across the district received funding, totaling just over $ 316,500.
Jasy Shiparski of Technology Integration Group is the new Chairman of the Board of Directors of the APS Education Foundation. She writes, “As we move further and further away from the year 2020, we strive to reach more students and educators through all that we do as a foundation. Increased funding for the many programs for which we receive grants will help us achieve this goal. The pandemic has brought out a number of great and innovative ideas that our APS community is ready to launch… and I believe these great ideas will help improve the years to come for all of us. ”
Learn more about the APS Education Foundation grants