2015 GEF Grant Award Winners






















Our Prize Patrol issued $34,979.10 in grants for 2015


The Grafton Education Foundation (GEF) “Prize Patrol” made 7 stops to surprise this year’s grant recipients. A total of $34,979.10 was handed out to Grafton school district staff members who applied for grants during the 2015 grant cycle for GEF. During the annual Prize Patrol, GEF members show up unannounced in teacher classrooms with an oversized check, balloons and green apples to share the news that their educational grants will be awarded. This year’s grants will impact students at all five public schools in Grafton.


The Grafton Education Foundation raises money throughout the year to fund grant requests. Last year, the GEF gave away $29,851 in grants.  The GEF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation created to address funding gaps for educational programs throughout the five public schools in Grafton.


Youth Foundations – Character Retreats – GES, KES, WES, JLMS, & GHS – S. Edens - $11,060.00

Youth Frontiers will bring full-day character retreats to the district for all students in grades 4, 7, 8, and 10 during the 2015-2016 school year.  These retreats focus on kindness for grade 4, courage for grades 7 & 8, and respect for grade 10.  These dynamic and powerful retreat experiences include all students at these grade levels and reinforce our district’s Positive Behavior Initiatives, character education standards, and focus on the development of the whole-child.  Learn more about the retreats in Sarah Edens letter below.


How to Prevail When Organs Fail (PLTW) – GHS – F. Grant - $1,637.75 

Beginning in September of 2015, Grafton High School will be offering Medical Interventions as an advanced science course.  This is the third class in the PLTW: Biomedical Science Sequence.  Students will apply science, technology, engineering and mathematics to explore the fields of immunology, surgery, genetics and pharmacology.  Using a project based approach, students will actively investigate the prevention, diagnoses and treatment of disease.


Video Equipment for Communication Arts, Business and Information Technology, and Music Departments – GHS – T. Brogelman - $5,412.70

Producing video announcements, creating podcasts and filming screenplays are a few of the innovative ways to use the video equipment provided with this grant.  Students will have access to high quality film production equipment and microphones so they can create authentic, creative products in Communication Arts, Business & Information Technology and Music courses.


Hear What You’re Missing – WES, GES, JLMS – B. Evers - $8,629.65

This grant will purchase sets of microphones to be worn by teachers that transmit a slightly amplified auditory signal to headphones worn by students.  The slightly amplified signal will help to reduce the effects of background noise that is inevitable when students are working in small groups.  The reduction of background noise will make sustaining attention and perceiving the intended message of the teacher more effortless for the students.  This allows the students to devote more attention to the teacher’s lesson. 


School to Life Program – APSE National Conference – GHS - J. Pledl - $315.00

The Association for People Supporting Employment First (APSE) is a national organization that is guided by the belief that people with all types of disabilities can be employed, pursuing careers and building assets just like people without disabilities.  Their mission is that through advocacy and education they will advance employment and self-sufficiency for all people with disabilities.  Each year, APSE hosts a a national conference that provides information on the best practices and most efficient practices in the nation regarding supported employment.  This aligns with the goals of the district in providing opportunities that will increase outcomes for the students with disabilities. Supported employment is always changing, and staying educated on the best practices and current trends in the country will positively impact the lives of the students.


Kennedy Elementary Performance Risers – KES – K. Dillahunt - $6,300.00

This grant will provide sections of portable risers for concerts throughout the community.  The 70+ students in the Kennedy Elementary School Choir would like to continue their community service choir tours.  However, the current risers are very outdated and are becoming unsafe.  The new risers, which are easier to lift and are more transportable, will allow the choir to continue this valuable outreach program.  In addition to being used for choir concerts, they will be used for weekly rehearsals in the Kennedy gym and for both the Kennedy and Woodview holiday programs at the high school.


SMART Board for Math/Reading Support and Enrichment – KES – S. Bartoszewski - $1,624.00

Studies have shown that the use of a SMART Board in a classroom setting is beneficial to all learners.  SMART Boards provide a large, visual, colorful, and interactive multimedia screen for all participants to see and use.  They support online teaching resources in math and reading, and allow for the creation and adaptation of lessons to reach a variety of learners.  This grant will support and enrich Kindergarten through fifth grade students at Kennedy Elementary School with the incorporation of a SMART Board in the reading/math/computer resource room.  This SMART Board could be used by Title I support services, RISE instructors, reading interventionists, and the students who receive such support and enrichment.



A letter from Sarah Edens, Grafton School District School Psychologist


From all the students in next year's 4th, 7th, 8th, and 10th grades: THANK YOU! 


We are thrilled that we will have the opportunity to bring the Youth Frontiers Character Retreat experience to our students again next year and expand it to the middle and high school students! Not only is this experience a valuable one, it speaks volumes that we take the time out of our instruction to focus on these important values and that our community, families, and staff members support these experiences! 


Our students have a wonderful capacity for kindness, generosity, and compassion. They meet this capacity when we model these values and give them opportunities to shine! 


I know I speak from the administration and PBIS team members when I share my sincerest thanks for your generous support of this project! 


I'd also like to share my deepest thanks for all the support you give our students and staff here in Grafton each year. Although I am moving away, the students and my team members will always be in my thoughts and my prayers. I have the greatest amount of love and respect for the Grafton Community and the School District of Grafton. 


I have included links to short videos explaining the character retreats. These are short promotional vignettes from Youth Frontiers - in case these would be helpful in an explanation to staff or families regarding the Retreats and what the grant will be supporting. 
















Kindness Retreat - 4th Graders



Courage Retreat - 7th and 8th Graders



Respect Retreat - 10th Graders



Thank you again! 



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Grants In Action

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