LOWELL | The Tri-Creek Education Foundation has increased its $10,000 competitive grant opportunity to nearly $25,000 this year.
Lynn Bochart, a foundation director and chair for the grant committee, told the Tri-Creek School Board the donations from the community as well as a $5,000 grant from the Lake County Solid Waste District made the hikes possible.
In its 12th year, the foundation supports innovative programming which, this year, will impact more than 2,800 students.
Bochart, Janice Bruce, Dennis Keithley and Kirk McQuiston of the foundation presented 15 grant awards recently.
The largest award went to Lowell High School guidance counselor Christina Thomas and teacher Joe Swanson for the Red Devil Mentor Program. The $5,298 award will mentor training at DePauw University and more.
This year, 57 student mentors helped freshmen achieve a successful transition to high school.
Lake Prairie Elementary teacher Dawn Johannsen and the Lake Prairie School Leadership Team were granted $2,595 to implement a math fact program to increase fluency in all classrooms.
Lowell High School teachers Mary Cusic and Steve Harker were given $2,400 for "Facets of the Bridges Program," an offering for freshmen bridging into high school. It will culminate in the Chicago Bike Excursion for the 50 students selected.
High school teacher and literacy coach Kendra McPheeters-Neal was granted $2,146 for "Sustainable Collaborative Spaces" supported by Lake County Solid Waste Management District. Her students will create a prototype for a custom piece of furniture made from recycled bottle caps.
Megan McCollister Iussig was given $1,854 for a composting initiative at Lowell Middle School as well as $840 for her accelerated eighth-grade language arts students trip to see "Peter and the Starcatcher."
Two teams of Three Creeks Elementary teachers received $1,000 each for a fourth-graders' trip to Indianapolis and "Trout in the Classroom," a waste district-supported grant.
Tri-Creek Technology Specialist Dan Gibson received $1,651 for a "Mobile Media Production Studio" project to better allow students to create videos and radio show-type podcasts.
Reading teacher Kristen Hughes was given $935 to buy a nonfiction book set for fifth-grade students struggling with aspects of reading.
Teams of Lake Prairie teachers and Three Creeks teachers were given $900 each for "Rendezvous With a Comet" at the Challenger Learning Center.
Lake Prairie arts students will have access to iPads to pursue photography, animation and more through a $2,786 grant given art teacher Jill Sayers.
Three Creeks students will be "Using VersaTiles to Create Versatile Accomplished Learners" from a $459 grant to teachers Kassie Hanger, Holly Carter, Katie Taylor and Susan Mitsch.
Oak Hill teacher Amanda Hill received $130 for bullying prevention.