Three Helena schools will receive music libraries thanks to the efforts of C.R. Anderson music teacher Kevin Cleary and funding from the Helena Education Foundation.
A $3,000 grant will pay for three music libraries featuring 50 classical recordings for each school that National Public Radio rates as essential for every classical music collection.
“No school in Helena has a music library,” Cleary recently told his class.
The grant was one among 10 totaling close to $20,000 awarded Tuesday and Wednesday to Helena school teachers to enhance the learning of their students. The grants are designed to put money directly into the hands of classroom teachers, helping educators take ideas for innovative teaching strategies and make them a reality.
“The Great Ideas Grant program is one of the most direct ways HEF can enhance experiences for students and teachers,” executive director Lisa Cordingley said. “One of the best parts of my role as director is to walk into these classrooms and watch the teachers’ faces light up with the good news that they can bring an additional opportunity to their students. It is also rewarding for HEF to be able to honor our donors by naming grants in recognition of their contributions to HEF; we couldn’t do what we do without each of them.”
Other grants include one for the small business management and marketing class at Helena High to renovate The Catty Shack, the school store the class operates; a grant to Broadwater Elementary will provide a set of pedometers to students so they can scientifically gather, track and record data and apply math skills to analyze it; and a grant to Rossister will pay for Helena artist Phoebe Toland to instruct the district’s fourth-grade teachers in the art of printmaking.
HHS received three grants and CRA received two grants this round.
Resource teacher Judy Ziegler was awarded a $591 grant to purchase two Kindle e-readers, which she said are great for some students because they allow users to manipulate font size and the number of words per line.
“It helps kids with reading disabilities that have a hard time tracking,” Ziegler said.
The pilot program will fund the purchase of 50 books and provide options for her 25 students.
“I saw the Kindle as a way to help them get into print books independently,” she said.
CRA Principal Bruce Campbell is proud of his teachers and the extra effort they put into helping their students.
“This is a special event because we reward teachers who are innovative, work hard and go the extra mile to get things they need to succeed in the classrooms,” he said. “We wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford these things and it helps to have them to engage students.”
Each grant is sponsored by individuals or businesses. Helena Abstract and Title Company sponsored the Kindle grant by setting aside $5 for each closing this past summer.
“This is a way for the community and businesses to support schools and education directly and you can see where it goes,” Vice President Bill Gowen said.
Reporter Alana Listoe: 447-4081 or firstname.lastname@example.org