Grants ready schools for the coming year |

Grants ready schools for the coming year

Teachers and students in the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District will benefit from $46,262 in grants awarded by the Tahoe Truckee Excellence in Education Foundation this fall.

The payout from the foundation’s spring granting cycle will provide programming and materials otherwise unavailable through district funds to seven local schools.

“[The foundation] improves the education process in ways that we are not able. It really does expand our program offerings,” said Ralph Johnson, the district’s assistant superintendent of business. “The staff look to areas they would like to improve, but are unable to with just the allocations that the district gives each school.”

Grants awarded this year ranged from $155 for connection to a digital weather and astronomy program at Tahoe Truckee High School, to $6,400 in new vocabulary books at North Tahoe High.

But not all grants went to the staunchly academic. Each year Excellence in Education supports programs and instructional materials that help educators teach beyond the parameters of the classroom by funding such requests as this year’s Project Karaoke, a reading enrichment program, and hands-on science programs for high schoolers.

“They are so generous and my kids have the best equipment. It’s just wonderful,” said Sue Lowder, a science teacher at Tahoe Truckee High School who was awarded more than $5,500 to purchase new chemistry equipment for her advanced placement class.

Without the contributions, Lowder said, there would be many unmet needs in classrooms.

Beginning in September, Excellence in Education will begin accepting grant requests for its fall funding cycle, and the foundation and community anticipate spending will be expanded to include larger projects and needs.

The foundation will now seek areas of need to support rather than funding only requested grants, said Executive Director Laura Abbey Brown.

The support for a change in direction falls on the heels of the recent Education Matters campaign that collected community input on issues and needs impacting local students.

Tahoe-Truckee schools will see more than $46,000 worth of new programs and materials in their classrooms when the school bell rings on Sept. 5. Where will all that money go?

Kings Beach Elementary: $816.24

– Literature books to supplement the Harcourt math program

Truckee Elementary: $9,893.68

– An LCD Projector

– Edmark Reading Program software

– Early reading and phonemic awareness games

– Prism microscopes

– Handwriting Without Tears program to learn cursive writing

– Literacy Easels

– Second grade reading books

Glenshire Elementary: $6,737.19

– Reading books for the 3rd, 4th and 5th grades

– Project Karaoke program for the lunchtime reading enrichment

Alder Creek Middle School: $5,634.67

– Accelerated Math software for students needing extra support

– Dictionaries and thesauruses

North Tahoe Middle School: $2,540

– Lego Robotics program for students to build, design, program and test Lego robots

North Tahoe High School: $7,806.80

– Vocabulary books

– Nonfiction books for AP English language and 12th grade curricula

– Camcorder

Truckee High School: $12,833.56

– AP chemistry equipment

– Woodworking facility improvements

– Listen to Words and Their Meanings program that helps special education

students master the correct pronunciation, spelling and meaning of words.

– Network licenses for weather and astronomy program

– Hands-on experiential science projects

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