Thanks to the District 112 Foundation teacher grant program, educators in the district have opportunities to think broadly and develop innovative educational programs and classes. The foundation conducts fundraising throughout the year that provides for a Teacher of the Year program, Invest in Kids, and a teacher grant program.

Teachers apply for the grants, which could help them launch a special program in the classroom or other educational experiences.

For the first time, the Foundation is hosting an event, the “112 Gives a Holiday Soiree," on Friday, Nov. 22, at Charlson Meadows, 1601 Highway 7, Victoria. (According to the foundation website, the event has reached capacity. Contact 952-556-6299 for more information.)

The fundraiser will be an evening of entertainment and an opportunity to meet with past grant recipients.

We asked Angela Erickson, District 112 Foundation president about this year's inaugural event.

Q: What was done in previous years, and why the change?

A: In its more than 30 years, the foundation had never done a large scale event like this. In the past, the majority of our fundraising has been personal outreach, individual. donor solicitations, and mail solicitations. This is a shift in focus; we wanted to do something different and since Charlson Meadows is a beautiful and great backdrop, it dictated our style of the evening; part of the appeal is to allow people to explore the space. Radio personality Dave Ryan will be the evening's emcee. His children have attended District 112, so that's a local connection. Teachers will be there talking about their projects and we want our guests to come and learn about their initiatives straight from the source. 

Q: How many teachers apply for the grants and how are the grants selected?

A: Since 2004, this program has awarded more than $203,000 to the teachers and students of Eastern Carver County Schools through more than 183 grants. We have a grants committee and we partner with a few key teachers and administrators. We look for proposals that are self-supporting to provide the seed money for new and innovative ideas. Several times, a teacher’s initiative has caught fire, BizTown that began at Bluff Creek Elementary, or “maker spaces” in several district buildings, where students make the STEM connection through tinkering and inventing things.

Q: Where to get more information about the event and to buy a ticket and what to wear?

A: For more information, contact the District 112 Foundation by calling 952-556-6299, emailing, or visiting And wear what you'd wear for a nice night on the town.

It's not necessarily formal, but if you want to wear sequins, or evening dresses; not everyone is going to be in a jacket. And Charlson Meadows will be decorated for the holidays. The overall vibe is not holiday specific, but keep in mind that the silent auction items are there just in time for gift ideas.

— Unsie Zuege



Unsie Zuege is an award-winning multimedia journalist, who enjoys community journalism, bibimbop, Netflix, Trivia Mafia and snuggling tiny dogs, not necessarily in that order.


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