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Six Helena teachers receive “Great Ideas Grants”

Posted at 11:48 AM, Feb 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-22 13:48:29-05

HELENA – The Helena Education Foundation surprised six teachers with “Great Ideas Grants” totaling more than $20,000.

One of the two winners at Capital High School, science teacher Sarah Urban, won up to $5,000 for funds relating to her classroom’s R.A.I.N. program (Relating Academics In Nature and society).

The program helps students apply what they learn in the classroom to the real world and prepares them for college.

Librarian Susan Selvig will apply her grant to the “FABLABulous” program. The money will pay for iPads students can use for coding and computer science.

Selvig said, “That’s the nature of a librarian, we are always trying to give kids access to as many kinds of resources as we can and technology is one of those things that’s super important, the more kids have access to.”

Since the program’s inception, they have handed out more than 340 grants totaling nearly $680,000.

Lisa Cordingley, Helena Education Foundation Director, said, “The Education Foundation gives $40,000 or so in grants a year to classroom teachers across the district. Today, we gave Elementary, High Schools and soon we’ll be at Middle Schools, this opportunity to apply. It is a very competitive process. “Great Ideas Grants” gives teachers the chance to ask for up to $5,000 for projects.”

Cordingley continued, “For projects that would be otherwise readily unavailable with the schools budget. We don’t fund things that should be publicly funded, we don’t pay for curriculum and standard things but we offer opportunities for enhancements and extras. Today we get to go visit teachers and say, ‘Your dream gets to come true.'”

The four other winners of the HEF award were Helena High School’s health teacher Rene Cloninger, Rossiter Elementary School’s music teacher Sarah Dramstad, and C.R. Anderson Middle School’s music teacher Kevin Cleary and 8th grade teacher Shannon Thomas.

Click here for more information about the Helena Education Foundation and “Great Ideas Grants.”

-Reported by Christine Sullivan/MTN News