Anderson Community Schools teachers honored with classroom grants

After receiving and reviewing classroom grant applications from 24 Anderson Community Schools teachers this fall, officials with the Anderson Education Foundation knew the question for funding each request would begin not with “if,” but “how much?”

All 24 applications were approved, with the foundation giving a total of more than $20,000 to fund a variety of project-based learning ideas at schools throughout the district.

“There is magic that takes place in these classrooms,” said Aimee West, executive director of the Anderson Education Foundation. “Those are lightbulb moments with the kids when they understand that their teacher has written…their own story to get funding for their idea. It’s just magic.”

The grant recipients were recognized at Tuesday’s ACS Board of Trustees meeting, where the foundation’s board president, David Dodd, said the breadth of learning experiences represented in the applications was remarkable.

“It’s quite honestly an honor to be able to do this,” Dodd told the ACS board. “(The projects) are very wide-ranging and they will have an impact on a lot of students.”

West said that by recognizing teachers and staff who share compelling ideas and put them into action, the foundation hopes to draw attention to an ongoing need for staffing and other resources at ACS and other public schools.

“Foundations like ours are not fixes for systemically under-resourced classrooms,” she said. “We are a drop in the bucket and we do what we can, but I’d be remiss not to continue drawing awareness that Indiana’s public schools need more resources — especially in mental health, and in our special needs classrooms.”

This article appeared in The Herald Bulletin.