Education Foundation awards over $20K

Elkhart Community Schools teachers hold up checks they received from the Elkhart Education Foundation for special projects and extracurricular activities at a ceremony this week at the administration building.

ELKHART — The Elkhart Education Foundation awarded 13 grants to teachers and students across Elkhart Community Schools for its fall grant cycle, giving away $22,536.

The teachers and students were recognized this week at a reception held in the J.C. Rice Educational Services Center.

Foundation Director Ashley Boling Molyneaux presented representatives from each group with a ceremonial check, which ranged from $500 to $5,000.

Founded in 2014, Elkhart Education Foundation is a nonprofit organization that works to bridge the gap in funding for Elkhart Community Schools. The group works closely with the school board and Innovative Teaching and Extracurricular are two of its main initiatives.

Innovative teaching grants are distributed twice a year and extracurricular grants are distributed three times a year.

The following lists the organizations, projects, number of students impacted and grants awarded for the spring extracurricular grant cycle:

•  Elkhart Memorial High School Boys Soccer, Fed and included = success, 50-60 students, $500

•  Hawthorne Elementary School, Hawthorne Community Events, 625 students, $1,750

•  Elkhart Memorial High School, EMVB Purdue Team Camp, directly impacts four students, indirectly 25-30, $550

•  Elkhart High Elite, Elite Expectations, over 100 students, $1,940

•  Elkhart Central National Honor Society, NHS Gives Back, 58 students, $870

•  Elkhart Central Football, Technology Upgrade, over 140 students, $5,000

•  Elkhart Memorial Table Game Club, Innovative Games, 100 students, $1,000

•  Elkhart Central and all elementary schools, everybody learns to swim, 941 students, $900

Recipients for the Innovative Teaching grant were:

•  Mary Beck Lab School, Coffee Cart, 40 students, $788.20

•  Hawthorne Elementary, Hawthorne Sensory Hallways, 625 students, $5,000

•  Elkhart Memorial High School, “Serging” Forward!, 100 students, $999.32

• Hawthorne Elementary, Refocus Area, 631 students, $328.69

• Elkhart Memorial, The Art of the Print, 1,300 students, printer donated

Boling Molyneaux said Elkhart Education Foundation has a committee comprised of community members, business people, and school representatives that review the application submitted. Vital factors the committee looks for in the applications are the number of children a project impacts and how the innovative practices will be used.

“There’s a big focus in the district on things like trauma-informed instruction and using technology effectively as one of the tools in your toolbox for teaching,” said Boling Molyneaux, “and you can tell through the innovative teaching grant requests, that’s also on the forefront of our teachers’ minds as they’re looking for new and exciting ways to engage our kids in the classroom.”

Grant applications for the winter extracurricular cycle are due by 5 p.m. Oct. 1. Teachers can fill out applications on the Elkhart Education Foundation website.

Since its inception, the foundation has awarded more than $500,000 in grants.

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