Classrooms Can! Grant Program Awards $43,000 to NCW Teachers

The Community Foundation of NCW has awarded $43,000 in grants to teachers across North Central Washington for innovative classroom projects that engage students, especially the hard to reach learner.

Forty-three teachers across 14 districts each received a $1,000 Classrooms Can! grant to be implemented in the 2014-2015 academic year.

Awards are distributed in 5 funding areas: Arts Education, Field Trips, Literacy and Social Studies, STEM, or Wellness.

Each application is reviewed by a committee of community members with knowledge and expertise in the areas of funding.

The following are the schools and teachers awarded, or click here to view full award descriptions:

  • Beaver Valley School, Eric Tiegel – Field Trip to Wenatchee River Institute 1st-5th graders students will enjoy direct, hands-on outdoor experiences on a 9-acre preserve featuring a rich diversity of plant and animal species and also utilize the green classroom equipped with microscopes, snowshoes, kick nets, live animals, and more.
  • Bridgeport Elementary School, Mary Avalos – Hands on with Science Kindergarten students will learn about earth and space science by creating a recycled project for their bedroom using fabric technology skills.
  • Eastmont High School, Dana Leming – Speechless Writing Project 10th-12th grade students will write narratives, poems, and song lyrics about their lives with the goal of publishing a book, giving them the ability to share their struggles, obstacles, and triumphs with other teens to spread hope, tolerance.
  • East Omak Elementary, Leslie Clough – Eagles Orchestra Provide instruments (violins, flutes, clarinets, and tubas) for 3rd-5th grade students who are unable to purchase them so they can participate in the orchestra program.
  • East Omak Elementary, Kathy St. Germaine – Art Room Art room for 3rd-5th grade students with integrated projects that complement the topics covered by each of the classrooms.
  • Entiat High School, Bill Edwardson – Holocaust Museum Field Trip 11th-12th grade field trip to the Washington State Holocaust Museum in Seattle to view artifacts and see the exhibits while listening to guest speakers that have lived through the experience.
  • Entiat Elementary School, Dana Cada – Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds Continuation and expansion of “healthy living” program for 1st grade classroom that includes positive reinforcement tactics, daily healthy snacks with mini nutrition lessons, easy-reader books, audiobooks and high quality application for iPads.
  • Foothills Middle School, Toby Johnson – Night of the Notables 7th grade students will choose a positive world changer, read their biography, write a paper, and act at an event presentation for parents.
  • Foothills Middle School, Kyle Hurst – Dynamic Review Games Various activities and games for the classroom to engage the learning experience and make it more fun.
  • John Newbery Elementary, Connie Michael – MinecraftEdu 2nd graders will experience a version of Minecraft software developed for educators that better engages students in STEM, History, and Art subjects through a video game based on scale-modeling and civilization development.
  • John Newbery Elementary, Leslie Kiick – Masters of Measuring “Measurement Tubs” filled with a variety objects for Kindergarteners to measure and a collection of various tools to measure them, creating problem solving opportunity for children learn how to choose appropriately.
  • Lewis and Clark Elementary, Maria Gonzalez – Classrooms Can Cook A year-long project for 1st graders that connects cooking to healthy eating habits, teaching children about nutrition while using math and measuring skills.
  • Liberty Bell High School, Lisa Monahan – HASPI Medical Biology Curriculum Health Sciences Pathway Initiative Program (HASPI) aims to provide accessibility and proficiency in STEM-related sciences through 19 health-based labs, available to 8th-12th graders.
  • Lincoln Elementary, Tina Nicpan-Brown – STEM Field Experience: Snowshoe Through An Avalanche 5th grade students will interact with a local biologist/environmental education director in the area of avalanche and mudslide control/identification and learn snowshoeing techniques needed in the field.
  • Mansfield School District, Luke Hall – Advocate for Community Skate Park 7th-12th grade students will learn the process for making change in their community by advocating for a skate and bike park through various research methods and a presentation to city officials.
  • Manson Elementary, Marcella Lindert – Imitating Artists 4th grade students will read about a famous artist, learn their media and style, create art in that style, then write about their experience.
  • Manson Elementary School, Jay Fox – Resistance Sets Purchase of resistance sets to complete and enhance the fitness program for K-5th graders.
  • Manson High School, Jennifer Koth – Exploring Social Ethics and Science Through Henriett Lacks In partnership with Erik Helleson’s class, 9th-10th grade students will read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and explore the social, racial, and ethical issues of this science while simultaneously with DNA and genetic studies in Biology.
  • Manson High School, Erik Helleson – Laboratory Experiences of the HeLa cells of Henrietta Lacks In partnership with Jennifer Koth’s class, 10th-12th grade students will be able to clone genes, purify proteins, transform bacteria with genes from jellyfish to make them glow green and visualize the mitosis of cancer cells.
  • Manson High School Extensions Program – Chase Pauly, Backpacking Field Courses 7th-12th grade science students will study biology and ecology in the field by participating in 1 of 3 offered 6-day/7-night backpacking field courses at the Watersheds of Washington (Olympic Peninsula), Ecology of Alpine Lakes (Leavenworth), Natural History of Glacier Peak Wilderness (North Cascades)
  • Methow Valley Elementary School, Anne Andersen – Measurement Lab A school-wide Measurement Lab that would allow students to manipulate a variety of materials, explore different units of measurement and measuring tools, and determine the importance of varying degrees of accuracy.
  •  Methow Valley Independent Learning Center, Kim Odell – Be ART! A program that connects at-risk youth with their community, self, and academics through various art projects that each provide a particular skill set such as math, science, public speaking, teamwork, problem solving, trade skill, as well as exposure to social services and needs of their community.
  • Omak Early Childhood Programs, Lynnette Rose – Family Adventure and Literacy Activities A series of out-of-school family activities focusing on language development and science understanding that are fun and allow parents to see their young children as active learners.
  • Orondo Elementary School, Carol Steichen – Field Trip to Wenatchee River Institute Kindergarten students will enjoy direct, hands-on outdoor experiences on a 9-acre preserve featuring a rich diversity of plant and animal species and also utilize the green classroom equipped with microscopes, snowshoes, kick nets, live animals, and more.
  • Pateros School District, Scotti Wiltse – Scientist for a Day Field Trip 7th-8th grade students will be scientists for a day through 3 field trip experiences: Stonerose Interpretive Center, where students become archeologists, dig and identify fossils; Gardener Cave, where students learn about formation of cave, stalagmites, stalactites; and Boundary Dam, where students learn how dams are made and their important function in our world today.
  • Pioneer Middle School, Sandra Lancaster – Audiobooks for Battle of the Books Continuation of successful program that increases reading engagement and improves literacy through audiobooks.
  • Tonasket Elementary School, Megan Huckaby – Enhanced Literacy Center Enhance current literacy model in 2nd grade classroom and improve reading performance by providing access to highly motivating, multi-level literacy materials.
  • Tonasket High School, Emily Bjelland – The Robotic Engineering Design Challenge 9th-12th grade students will apply their knowledge of mechanics to robot design and be introduced to computer programming and the research design loop.
  • Tonasket Outreach Program (Homeschool), Carol Lanigan – Washington State Exploration 4th-8th grade students will study the regions of Washington State throughout the year including geography, map reading, and diverse environments culminating with a 4-day/3-night field trip to the North Cascades National Park, Padilla Bay, and Seattle to enrich our study of WA state.
  • Tonasket Elementary School, Rose Corso – Tonasket School Garden/ Compost Project A permanent, covered composting structure that will support expansion of the composting program and provide K-5th grade students exposure to the benefits of recycling, waste reduction, and sustainable stewardship through conservation awareness through the composting cycle.
  • Robert E. Lee Elementary, Lisa Snyder – Preschool Math in a Box A collaboration between preschools and the Kindergarten team, “Math in a Box” addresses one of the four domains of math literacy including; counting and cardinality, geometry, operations and algebraic thinking, and data and measurement and provides a total of 20 boxes available to our early learning providers to check out through our school library to help bridge the gap entering public school.
  • Vale Elementary, Kristin Umbarger-Keene – Mexican Folk Dances The addition of Mexican Folk Dancing to current six-weeks school-wide dance instruction program including costumes.
  • Vale Elementary, Devera Sharp – Art: It’s Elementary Support a current art enrichment program for 1st-4th grade students for students to study and explore art history, culture, techniques, and connections with nature.
  • Vale Elementary, DeAnn Kruiswyk – A Garden So Kids Can Grow Building a new school-wide student garden in a currently unused, concrete space using the “square foot gardening” method which requires installation of raised beds, a watering system, and materials for initial installation.
  • Vale Elementary, Kappy Schoening – Lifetime Swimmers Swimming lessons for 1st and 3rd grade students to increase the swimming abilities and safety.
  • Virginia Grainger Elementary School, Marilou Baker – Salmon Studies 4th grade students study salmon and ecosystems, designing and carving block prints, and participate in a riparian restoration project on Salmon Creek near the school.
  • Virginia Grainger Elementary School, Amy Sullivan – Animal Studies 3rd grade students will participate in an in-depth inquiry into animal characteristics, behavior, and habitat, write a detailed research paper, culminating with a 3D art project.
  • Virginia Grainger Elementary School, Susan Brown – Library Theater Enhance reading/literacy skills and English acquisition through a moveable puppet theater and puppets designed and built by students to use in the school library.
  • Washington Elementary School, Amy Kerker – Create Your Own Instrument 1st-5th grade students will create a variety of musical instruments (such as drums, flutes, xylophones, rain sticks, guitars) using simple materials.
  • Washington Elementary School, Monika Christensen – Geocaching Field Trips 5th grade students will learn geography, technology, and math skills while exploring their local community for hidden treasures through Geochaching Field Trips.
  • Washington Elementary School, Jill Reinfeld – Salmon Festival Field Trip 5th grade students will discover and appreciate the complexities of the natural world and the significance of the salmon ecosystem through hands-on activities and “edutainment”.
  • WestSide High School, Peg Ronhovde – WestSide’s Got Talent  Instruments and costumes for a student-directed peer-mentoring program that expresses itself through the fine arts.
  • WestSide High School, Heidi Monroe – WestSide Presents A portable stage and sound equipment to use in conjunction for new performing arts program, focused on building on student talents to build personal wellness and a positive school environment.

Classrooms Can! is a partnership between the Community Foundation of NCW and the United Way of Chelan and Douglas Counties and is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Learn more about all of our grant programs at here.

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Xitlali Cruz


I am currently pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Computer Science at Stanford. Since the beginning of my freshman year I have been involved with clubs such as Stanford’s Space Initiative (SSI) and the Society of Latinx Engineers (SOLE). In SSI I built a rocket and launched it.


Aero Methow Rescue Service


Due to being rural, remote, and geographically isolated, we must be prepared to do more than respond to emergencies. We have become a healthcare partner who fills gaps in service. The grant allowed our board the time and ability to work with a Strategic Planner to modify our plan to address those gaps.


Chelan Douglas Volunteer Attorney Services


The grant provided funds to hire a Housing Justice and Outreach Coordinator to visit rural and underserved areas. Rosie’s bilingual and bicultural skills and experience have increased equity of service. Rosie is building partnerships with local organizations through events such as the Columbia Valley Community Health’s Back to School Drive, as well as posting yard signs.

Tenoch Mandujano

Tenoch Mandujano

Scholarship Recipient

My father was a migrant agricultural worker who eventually started his own cherry and apple orchard. He told me if I wanted to live a better life, I had to get an education. I plan on starting a career with the Chelan PUD with a passion for renewable energy and in turn give back to my parents and community for supporting my dreams.

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