Beyond Crayons and Computers dishes out 16 grants
The Merrill Area Community Foundation has approved 16 grants totaling $10,000 for the 2019-20Beyond Crayons and Computers grant program. Funded through the foundation, the Beyond Crayons and Computers program invites teams of teachers from early childhood education all the way through the adult diploma academy, to submit grant applications that are not only innovative and creative but also involve parents, teachers and other members of the community.
According to a press releasde from the foundation, “the Merrill Area Community Foundation has been impressed with the variety of innovative and inspired projects that involve community members and enrich the educational experience. This year’s grants were awarded to both public and parochial schools, from Elementary Schools to Merrill High School and the Merrill Adult Diplomacy Academy.”
Some of the grant recipients include:
• A new social studies class, Merrill History, being offered this year at MHS.
The overall goal of the class is to gather and preserve local stories (events, buildings and recreational events) from citizens of Merrill and the surrounding area. The oral history interviews will be applied to a virtual walking tour of Merrill and archived at the Lincoln County Historical Society.
• The Jefferson News Show-Community Connections will be led by 4 th and 5 th grade students. Student reporters will go into the community to cover a “story” from Merrill. The news show will be shared out to the community monthly using social media posts, a Jefferson News website, and posters with QR codes in our community. The Jefferson News Show is a creative and positive way to further bridge our school with the community.
• Keeping Traditions Alive continues building inter-generational relationships with Northern Achievement Center students and residents at Jenny Tower. Residents will share family and/or holiday traditions with the students centering around cooking and crafts.
• Pound in the Schools is a form of exercise and stress-reliever using Rip Stix (plastic drumsticks) that involves striking to music. Students at Prairie River Middle School will learn a fun way to stay fit participating in movement activities as individuals while still being involved in a group activity. Pound will be used in physical education classes as well as in morning meeting times as a PBIS incentive.
• Students at the Merrill Adult Diploma Academy (MADA) will be operating a Web-Connected Weather Station and Camera, located at the Merrill City Hall building. Current weather information and live images will be made available to public visitors to the site. Community members will also be able to view traffic and events of interest in the downtown area.
• The Merrill Area Community Foundation is supported by individuals, corporations, and foundations as a means of giving back to their community. The Beyond Crayons and Computers program began in 2006 and is designed to enhance and reward innovative teaching, learning, and special motivational activities in our schools. Over $139,000, including $10,000 this year has been awarded to our schools since 2006.
Renea Frederick, Board President of the Merrill Area Community Foundation, notes the importance of innovation in our children’s learning.
“The children learn they how can contribute to our community at any age.” she stated, “The Merrill Community Foundation is proud to invest in the Beyond Crayons and Computer grants for our public and parochial schools. These grants strengthen the bonds between our community and schools with innovative educational projects and partnerships created by our Merrill-area teachers.”
“The annual grants to the Beyond Crayons and Computers program are in addition to the grants we have provided to local organizations including: Merrill Community Theater, Northwoods Veterans Post, Raise the Flag, Merrill Historical Society, Merrill Enrichment Center, Big Brothers/Big Sisters New Website Development, NTC Foundations, River Bend Trail, Merrill City Band, Normal Park Gazebo Fund, City of Merrill Parks Development Fund, Three Rivers United Temporary Housing (TRUTH) Our Sister’s House, River District Development Foundation, United Way for 211 Development, Merrill Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Merrill Rotary Club, EMT Paramedic Upgrade, Bell Tower Residence, Merrill Free Clinic, Athletic Park Improvement Project, Merrill Youth Softball, Disaster Preparedness for Senior Citizens, St. Vincent DePaul, Girls Scouts, Merrill Soccer Association and Haven, Inc.”
Donations may be sent to the Merrill Area Community Foundation Fund @ Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin, 501 First Street, Suite 2600, Wausau, WI 54403.