Nearly $10K in Beyond Crayons and Computer grants awarded

The Merrill Area Community Foundation is proud to announce that 10 grants totaling $9,991 have been approved for the Beyond Crayons and Computers grant program to schools throughout the Merrill Area’s public and parochial schools.

Funded through the Foundation, the Beyond Crayons and Computers program invites teams of teachers from Head Start and Early Childhood through the High School to submit grant applications that are not only innovative and creative but also involve parents, teachers and other members of the community.

The Merrill Area Community Foundation has been impressed with the variety of innovative and creative projects that will enrich the educational experience, motivate and inspire students, educators and/or the community and fill specific needs in our schools. This year’s grants were awarded to both public and parochial schools at a variety of grade levels, from Head Start to High School. The following is a listing of grant recipients:

Reality Check – 21st Century Skills Reinforcement of Financial Literacy is a continuation of a grant project from the 2009-2010 school year. Students chose a career, received a salary, and then visited 18 booths to purchase life’s necessities, and then the option to buy some “extras,” but they could not spend more than their salary. Business and community members participated in the project and are invited to do so again this year.

Dawn Jameson, Business Ed teacher, has seen firsthand the positive impact past grants have on schools and students.

“One student said, ‘If I buy an expensive car and house, I can’t afford clothes and food.’ The students had to learn to budget their monthly income. And what a ‘reality check’ it was!” The program will continue with this year’s Business Education classes.

Last year, Early Childhood and Headstart purchased rain boots and umbrellas for their “Whether the Weather Be Fair or the Weather Be Not” grant.

Joan Krohn, teacher, stated, “We wanted the children to experience nature in all kinds of weather, and we did! I was amazed at how many of the children had never played in the rain. One little boy even said, ‘Why would you go out into the rain, you’ll get wet!’ There were many, many smiles and giggles of delight and jumps for joys as the children used all of their senses to experience rain.”

The Merrill Area Community Foundation is supported by individuals, corporations, and foundations as a means of giving back to their community. This program began in 2006 and is designed to enhance and reward innovative teaching, learning, and special motivational activities in our schools. Over $55,000, including this year, has been awarded to our schools since 2006.

Mike Ravn, Board President of the Merrill Area Community Foundation is appreciative of the support the Foundation receives from the community.

“Merrill is fortunate to have individuals and companies that continue to give back to our community by supporting the Merrill Area Community Foundation. The Community Foundation is proud to support our public and parochial schools with the Beyond Crayons and Computers grants. This program is in addition to the grants we have provided to local organizations including Haven, Inc., Merrill Soccer Association, Girl Scouts, St. Vincent DePaul, Disaster Preparedness for Senior Citizens, Merrill Youth Softball, Athletic Park Improvement Project, Merrill Free Clinic, Bell Tower Residence, EMT Paramedic Upgrade, Merrill Rotary Club, the Merrill Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the United Way for 211 development and the Merrill Historical Society. It is our hope that individuals that have benefited from these grants will continue to give back to the community that has been so generous to them.”

A committee consisting of Foundation board members and past educational leaders in Merrill schools reviewed the applications and determined the grant recipients.

Donations may be sent to the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin – Merrill Area Community Foundation Fund at 500 Third Street, Suite 310, Wausau, WI 54403. Those wishing to be of assistance may contact Ravn at 715-536-5577 or Tom Cadwallader at 715-536-9784 or 715-539-1078.

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