The Shakopee Educational Endowment Foundation is awarding more than $30,000 in grants for innovative classroom projects proposed by teachers.Kathy Busch, vice chair of the SEEF board, told the school board Monday night that the foundation received 48 proposals — double the number of proposals last year, and 33 were chosen for funding.
“We like that — the more proposals, the better,” Busch said. “The dollar amount … can seem like a very small amount compared to the school district’s annual budget, but we think it represents a lot of innovation and a lot of opportunities for those students so I think there’s a lot of bang for the buck with this.”
Last year, SEEF awarded $24,400 in grants and in 2016-17 it awarded $14,349. Busch said SEEF was able to fund more projects than in previous years due in part to the generosity of late Superintendent Gary Anger’s family, who designated SEEF as the recipient of gifts in Anger’s memory.
“This act of kindness is a testament to Gary’s commitment to education, our community and to his belief in the SEEF mission,” said a SEEF booklet that explained each of the funded projects.
Since its inception in 1992, the SEEF grant program has awarded more than $369,000 for 488 projects in Shakopee schools.Funds to support the grants come from donations made by area businesses, service organizations, school district staff, community members and alumni.“We are very appreciative to the members of the community and the staff of the school district who have provided the funds to allow that to happen,” Busch said.
The grants from SEEF will fund everything from inclusive books at Central Family Center to a set of ukuleles in a fifth grade Sweeney classroom to a staff development project that would train school counselors and social workers to handle crisis situations like student deaths.