The Merrill Area Community Foundation recently announced the approval of grants totaling $11,893 for the ‘Beyond Crayons and Computers’ grant program to schools throughout the Merrill Area’s public and parochial schools. This year’s grant total is the most the Foundation has awarded since 2010 and nearly $2,000 more than was awarded last year ($10,027).
Funded through the Foundation, the Beyond Crayons and Computers program invites teams of teachers from 3-year-old programs through the High School, to submit grant applications that are not only innovative and creative but also involve parents, teachers and other members of the community.
Last Wednesday afternoon, 28 educator grant recipients gathered at Church Mutual Insurance Company to showcase their respective, creative concepts listed below:
Rtl – Tier 2 Reading Intervention Maple Grove Elementary School $300.00
Friends Merrill High School $750.00
Outside Forces: Fall, Winter, and Spring Northern Achievement Center $508.00
The Living Playhouse/Outdoor Learning Pine River School for Young Learners $500.00
Books on the Bus Pine River School for Young Learners $500.00
Turning for Manufacturing Prairie River Middle School $1,000.00
W.H.O. (We Help Others) Prairie River Middle School $550.00
Chalk on the Walk Prairie River Middle School $750.00
Emergency Communication in the Community Prairie River Middle School $500.00
SFX Theatre Project St. Francis Xavier $750.00
Outdoor Education Retreat St. Francis Xavier $750.00
After School Enrichment St. Francis Xavier $460.00
Story Garden Trinity Lutheran School $500.00
Puppet Pizzazz Trinity Lutheran School $600.00
Kindness County Washington Elementary School $500.00
Elementary Explorations Washington Elementary School $725.00
Wildcats Coding Club Washington Elementary School $750.00
All About Community Washington Elementary School $500.00
Good Fit Books + Choices = Successful Readers Washington Elementary School $500.00
Brain Breaks – Building Grit in Grade 3 Washington Elementary School $500.00
*The PRMS Technology Education and Engineering students will be learning wood turning using mini lathes to make Freedom Pens.
“I want to create a project that promotes community involvement, technical skill development, volunteerism, and patriotism all at the same time,” says Pete McConnell, PRMS Technology teacher.
*Students at Washington Elementary School will incorporate Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) to create an e-book on their iPads. The students will use healthy food in cooking projects to create a Turkey, Snowman Sandwich, Under the Sea, Dinosaur, Graham Cracker Rainbow Snack, Whole Plant, and a Snail.
*Pine River School for Young Learners will build a Living Playhouse to enhance the Grapevine Passage built several year ago. They will plant vines and harvest grapes to make jelly.
*Students at St. Francis Xavier attended an Outdoor Education Retreat to learn about Bird Biology, Aquatic Ecology in lakes, forests, ponds, and fields, and Orienteering to enhance Geometry and Calculating skills.
“Imagine the new Merrill River Bend Trail overtaken by a day-long firestorm of creativity and positive middle school energy and talent…” says Christy Rasmussen, PRMS Art Teacher. Accelerated Art students at PRMS will “Chalk the Walk” at the Merrill River Bend Trail creating 20 3 foot by 3 foot pieces of amazing Chalk Art.
*W.H.O. (We Help Others) at PRMS is developing projects to work with area parks, and resident homes to build relationships and social connectedness. Kindness County at Washington Elementary School is developing projects with the elderly, community service workers, military and animal groups to learn that “kindness matters”!
Renea Frederick, Board President of the Merrill Area Community Foundation notes the importance of investing in the quality of our children’s education.
“The Merrill Community Foundation is happy to invest in the worthy, innovative educational projects being proposed by our Merrill-area teachers,” she explaned.
“Our ‘Beyond Crayons and Computers’ monetary grants help in achieving those positive experiences for students.”
“The Foundation would like to acknowledge our grant recipients for their innovative ideas, their continuing efforts in our children’s education and their dedication to
the Merrill area community. The Foundation would also like to thank our donors, without them these grants would not be possible.”
The Merrill Area Community Foundation is supported by individuals, corporations, and foundations as a means of giving back to their community. This Beyond Crayons and Computers program began in 2006 and is designed to enhance and reward innovative teaching, learning, and special motivational activities in our schools. Over $109,000, including $11,893 this year has been awarded to our schools since 2006.
The annual grants to the Beyond Crayons and Computers program are in addition to the grants we have provided to local organizations including Haven, Inc., Merrill Soccer Association, Girl Scouts, St. Vincent DePaul, Disaster Preparedness for Senior Citizens, Merrill Youth Softball, Athletic Park Improvement Project, Merrill Free Clinic, Bell Tower Residence, EMT Paramedic Upgrade, Merrill Rotary Club, the Merrill Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the United Way for 211 development, Merrill Historical Society, River District Development Foundation, Three Rivers United Temporary Housing (TRUTH) Our Sister’s House, Merrill City Band, and the NTC Foundation.
Donations may be sent to the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin – Merrill Area Community Foundation Fund at 500 Third Street, Suite 310, Wausau, WI 54403.