Grants help keep school programs goingPublished 4:19pm Saturday, April 27, 2013
The Austin Public Education Foundation announced 25 grants totaling almost $33,000 to benefit Austin Public School students for the 2013-14 school year.
Each year, the Foundation awards grants to teachers in the district. Applications were due by March 1. The grant committee reviewed the 50 applications, which requested a total of $109,000, and selected certain ones for grants.
“It’s usually a group of five or six people,” said Mary Wadding, the Foundation’s executive director. “They try to figure out what is going to benefit the most students,” said
The grants fund programs or projects regular tax dollars cannot afford, and are not used for salaries or benefits for employees, or fees normally paid by parents.
The Foundation has two endowment funds. The James and Joanne Huntting Endowment is used to fund any program and project in the schools, while the Packer Fund is used exclusively for co-curricular and extra-curricular activities, with 60 percent going to athletics.
Programs that will benefit from Foundation grants this year include the Lego League, in which elementary and middle school students can participate. Wadding said the program is a good hands-on learning opportunity and many students are involved.
“That program has just blossomed,” she said. “It’s just a really cool program for kids.”
Another use of the grants is to bring author, artist and teacher Douglas Wood to the district.
“He’s going to be spending an entire week at the schools,” Wadding said. “About 500 students will benefit from it.”
Every year, the largest Foundation fundraiser is the annual Packer Classic. Last year’s event raised more than $19,000. Wadding hopes this year’s, on June 15, will break $20,000.
“Hopefully this will be the biggest year ever,” she said, adding guests are able to sign up now for the event.
Corporate and private donations, along with other small fundraisers during the school year, also contribute to the Foundation’s resources.
For information on the Foundation, to sign up for the Packer Classic or to donate, go to www.apefoundation-ahsalumni.org or contact Wadding at 605-320-6663.
Austin Public Education Foundation grants for 2013/14
•Southgate: Light Speed Infrared Cat System, $1,400; Listening Center Materials, $1,256; 30 Math Sharks, $999; Wrestling Equipment, $200.
•Banfield: Digital Camera and adapter, $318; Dry Erase Board, $85; collection of biographies, $1,549.
•Sumner: Spanish books for the ELL program, $423.
•Austin High School: Cannon EOS Rebel digital camera, $2,100; three Delta Dart kits, $231; gardening supplies and equipment, $418; four apple iPads and attachments,$2,592; two classroom sets of the 2014 page turner book, $900; Yabla Spanish Program, $499.
•Woodson: Early childhood social studies/science materials, $766.
•CLC: TACSEI Materials, $466; 15 headphones with microphones, $137; digital camera and accessories for the Spark program, $295.
•I.J. Holton: Books for Peer Power partner education sessions, $1,834; StrataLogica World Atlas e-book pack and program, $1,377.
•Neveln: Visiting author, artist and teacher Douglas Wood, $5,410; materials for reading and math skills, $671; Lego League/ Lego Robotics, $6,200.
•Ellis: Kindle E-Readers for the EXCEL Students, $1,500.