Many people have had great ideas they couldn’t pursue due to a lack of funds, and teachers are no different.

But when those ideas could improve education for Hutchinson’s students, it’s better to see them come to fruition. That’s the idea behind an endowment fund created by the ISD 423 School Foundation in 2008. Money donated to the fund is invested, and as that investment makes money, the money is used to create grants for Hutchinson teachers.

Since 2014, the fund has granted $19,752 to 35 projects that have touched 7,600 students. Each year, the recipients are honored at Homecoming, and at Friday night’s football game the scene was no different as teachers and students were called out onto the field at half time. Here are the 2019 recipients:

STEM bins

A $1,000 grant was awarded to Masey McDowell, Park Elementary STEM teacher, for STEM bins and manipulatives. The purchase will help students explore, engineer and play while developing science, technology, engineering and math skills.

Book boxes

Nesha Withers accepted a check for $970 on behalf of all fourth-grade teachers for extended reading book boxes. Their students will be able to enjoy more independent reading options.

Life skills

Hutchinson High School Special Education teachers Amy Nisse and Cheryl Marelic accepted a grant for $950 for an employment and life skills business program. It will allow high school special education students to create, sell and market a product to gain work and life experience.

Barn quilt

Park Elementary Special Education teacher Corrine McCloud accepted a $102 grant for her department’s special wooden barn quilt project. A Hutchinson Tigers barn quilt will be made by students to promote math skills, practice patience and self-control, and promote teamwork and problem-solving. The completed project will be on display at Park Elementary.

Sensory path

Occupational therapist Susan Boor accepted $1,000 for a sensory path for students in pre-kindergarten through first grade. The path will allow special learners to practice skills that will help them participate in general education classrooms.

Second-grade STEAM

Amanda Langins accepted $510 on behalf of second-grade teachers for the purchase of STEAM bins. The bins will be used to promote playful learning among second graders in the realms of science, technology, engineering, art and math.

Making memories

Kathryn Vesely and Lisa Ditlefsen accepted $1,000 on behalf of the Early Childhood Family Education department. The grant will go toward a program called “Making Memories: Just My Grandma/Grandpa and Me.” A series of events will aim to help grandparents who are supporting their children as parents, and to help grandparents who are caregivers for grandchildren.

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