Contributed by Paul Morley, MSSF Board of Directors
Every October, the Mat-Su Schools Foundation reviews grant proposals which expand educational opportunities for kids beyond what limited school budgets can provide. Proposals are considered for their sustainability, the number of kids they serve and the degree to which they benefit student learning. This year MSSF will offer four $1,000 grants and one $1,000 Gorilla Fireworks grant for a Houston middle or high school teacher. Deadline for online applications is Monday, October 23, 2017. The application link and further information can be found at our website: www.matsuschoolsfoundation.org.
In 2016, six grants were awarded to the following schools and teachers:
• Michael Backus, Teeland Elementary School: $1000 grant for an IoT (Internet of Things) Smarthome for their new computers elective course. Students learn programming by solving programming puzzles online, building simple apps and programming robots. With IoT technology, the students are able to control objects in the physical world from the Internet
• Becky Moren, Talkeetna Elementary School: $1000 grant towards their “Project Ocean” field trip to Homer. The 4th and 5th grade five-day field trip was the culmination of a nine-week long academic program that includes student-initiated projects and intensive instruction in marine science and outdoor education. The curriculum integrates math, science, reading, research, technology and PE skills.
• Sharon Johnson, Dena’ina Elementary School: $1008 grant to build a leveled library of “just right” books primarily for grades K-2. The books provide young readers with a diversity of non-fiction and fiction stories.
• Connie Bamburg, Teeland Middle School: $968 grant for fidget-friendly items. The materials enhance student learning by allowing children to focus on the work required of them, while still allowing their bodies to move
• Diane Clawson, Palmer Jr. Middle School: $950 grant for mini quadcopters. The quadcopters inspire students and develop problem-solving skills, logical thinking, organization, precision, inquiry, responsibility, collaboration and sportsmanship.
• Chris Gooch, Colony High School: $1060 grant for equipment to study physics video analysis of motion. By recording video of moving objects with a high definition camera, the video can be slowed down and examined to study physics in action.
• Nicole Kelpe and Joshua Rockey, Sutton Elementary School: $1000 grant for their 5th grade field trip to the state capital. The trip focused on government and science, and was the culmination of a year-long study of civics and government. Students observed our state legislature in session and met people who make the laws we live by. Students also took a boat tour focused on marine science, glaciers and local ecology.
The Matanuska-Susitna Schools Foundation is a nonprofit, tax-exempt corporation organized to support student learning by providing supplemental funding for education. Children are our future. Therefore, investments in improving educational opportunities for kids are investments in our community and society as a whole.
Contributions to the Mat-Su Schools Foundation are exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) and are tax deductible.
To learn more, make a contribution or become a member, you can go to www.matsuschoolsfoundation.org. Annual membership is $10, lifetime membership is $75. The Mat-Su Schools Foundation seeking to expand its board of directors and is inviting community members to consider sharing their talents, ideas and enthusiasm. If you have questions, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re also on Facebook: www.facebook.com/MatSuSchoolsFoundation/.