The Merrill Area Community Foundation has approved 12 grants totaling $10,018 for the Beyond Crayons and Computers grand program to schools throughout the Merrill area’s public and parochial schools. Funded through the Foundation, the Beyond Crayons and Computers program invites teams of teachers from Head Start and Early Childhood 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.
The Merrill Area Community Foundation has been impressed with the variety of innovative and inspired projects that will enrich the educational experience, encourage students, educators and/or the community and fill specific needs in our schools. This year’s grants were awarded to both public and parochial schools at a variety of grade levels.
Grant recipients are:
•Home to School Literacy Project, Kate Goodrich Elementary School, $1000- grant money will purchase supplies for 3rd grade students to take home and work on literacy projects with their families.
•Making Fitness Functional, Merrill High School, $990- grant money will allow the high school physical education department to complete setting up a TRX weight training course, which makes exercise time more efficient for students.
•Making Their Heads Spin, Merrill High School, $1,140- grant money will purchase three apparatus for the physics department, allowing students to do experiments, test formulas and get a better understanding of concepts.
•Humane Helpers, Northern Achievement Center, $70- students already volunteer at the Lincoln County Humane Society. Their project takes volunteering a step further by designing and building a cat playground.
•Learning Through Play, Northern Achievement Center, $168- grant money will allow students to visit the Children’s Museum in Eagle River to experience hands-on learning.
•Bridge to Literacy, Pine River School for Young Learners, $1,200- grant money will allow the school to construct a bridge like the one left behind at the former Head Start building. Teachers are looking forward to the new bridge, as the old one was used in a number of educational ways.
•Middle School E-Readers, Prairie River Middle School, $1,000- students will have the opportunity to use E-Readers to encourage reading and also prepare to obtain accurate information from electronic sources and be able to use the devices from which they are downloaded.
•Keep on Moving, St. Francis Xavier Catholic School, $1,000- grant money will help purchase snowshoes to be used in physical education classes, exposing students to what could become a lifelong activity.
•Opera for the Young, St. Francis Xavier Catholic School, $810- Opera for the Young rewrites classic operas for elementary students to better understand. Students will learn the songs and will perform as the chorus when Opera for the Young visits their school.
•Technology for the Classroom, Kate Goodrich Elementary School, $1,000- Additional iPad devices for 2nd grade students will increase the time students can spend to read to someone or with Buddy Reading time.
•Play Area Update, Trinity Christian Day Care, $900- the grant will be used to purchase a large “Step 2” structure that includes stairs, a small climbing wall, two slides, a bridge, and two covered areas to go underneath. It is appropriate for ages 3-5, and at least 8 children can use it at once.
•Communication Connections, Washington Elementary School, $740- grant money will purchase supplies for activities that encourage children to work together and communicate within and across grade levels.
The Merrill Area Community Foundation is supported by individuals, corporations and foundations as a means of giving back to their community. This program began in 2006 and is designed to enhance and reward innovative teaching, learning, and special motivational activities in our schools. Over $75,000, including $10,000 this year, has been awarded to local schools since 2006.
Mike Ravn, board president of the Merrill Area Community Foundation, notes the importance of investing in the quality of our children’s education.
“The Merrill teachers, both public and parochial, make tremendous sacrifices in terms of their time and talent to provide a first-rate educational experience for our area students,” Ravn said. “These projects are innovative. The Community Foundation is proud to support our public and parochial schools with the Beyond Crayons and Computers grants.”
The annual grants to the Beyond Crayons and Computers program are in addition to the grants the foundation has 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, Merrill Chamber of Commerce Foundation, United Way for 211 development and the Merrill Historical Society.
Donations may be sent to the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin – Merrill Area Community Foundation Fund at 500 Third St., Suite 310, Wausau, WI 54403. Those wishing to be of assistance may contact Ravn at 715-536-5577 or Tom Cadwallader at 715-536-9784.