ST. LOUIS – In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, which runs May 6 -10, WGU Missouri has announced it will fund approximately 15 innovative Missouri teachers’ projects, totaling $10,000, through its inaugural Fund My Classroom initiative.
The donation will go a long way toward making several K-12 classrooms a more engaging environment for students. Projects set to receive funding include training for two therapy dogs at Royal Heights Elementary in Joplin where approximately 22 percent of students suffer from some sort of trauma-related symptom that impacts their success at school; additions to a puppetry initiative in a kindergarten class at Warren Hills Elementary School in Liberty, where the use of puppets helps young students find and use their voices and an effort to bring pedal exercisers to the library media center at Blades Elementary in St. Louis in hopes of sparking an enthusiasm for reading, while also promoting a healthy and active lifestyle for students; emergency kits to be placed in every classroom at Field Elementary in St. Joseph in the event of a natural disaster; and computer and Chromebook donations to schools in various communities across the state.
Teachers often spend their own savings to cover the costs of classroom projects. To thank them for their efforts, WGU Missouri issued a call last month for K-12 teachers to submit their project ideas on the university’s website for consideration for full or partial funding. By the April 26 deadline, the online, nonprofit university received more than 200 nominations for classroom projects across the state.
“We heard from many teachers with innovative and unique ideas on how to improve their classroom, and we’re so pleased we can help bring several of those ideas to fruition,” said Dr. Angie Besendorfer, Chancellor of WGU Missouri. “The inaugural Fund My Classroom initiative is an opportunity for WGU Missouri to celebrate teachers and thank them for the lasting, positive impact they have on their students.”
In addition to donating funds to deserving teachers across the state, WGU Missouri is also marking Teacher Appreciation Week by offering up to $50,000 in scholarships to those who wish to further their education. Each WGU Teacher Appreciation Scholarship is valued at up to $2,500, which is applied at the rate of $625 per six-month term for up to four consecutive terms. To be eligible, scholarship applicants must be officially admitted to WGU Missouri, complete the scholarship application, and be interviewed by a WGU scholarship counselor. Recipients will be selected based on their academic records, financial need and readiness for online study at WGU Missouri, among other considerations. New students can apply online now through June 30 at missouri.wgu.edu/teachers.
To learn more about the Fund My Classroom initiative and the work WGU Missouri is doing to help teachers advance their careers, visit missouri.wgu.edu.