Six Helena teachers get rewarded with “Great Ideas Grants”

Posted at 6:30 PM, Feb 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-22 13:34:34-05

HELENA – The Helena Education Foundation surprised six teachers with grant money this week. Educators won “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 to help her classroom’s R.A.I.N.S 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 that 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-thousand dollars.

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 other four 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 C.R. Anderson 8th grade teacher Shannon Thomas.

Congratulations to all!

For more information on the Helena Education Foundation and “Great Ideas Grants” got to: