ST. LOUIS – WGU Missouri today announced it has awarded more than $54,000 in grant funding to teachers across the state to fund their innovative classroom projects that foster learning in new, unique ways. The grants were made possible through WGU’s “Fund My Classroom” initiative, and a total of 52 classroom projects were selected for funding.
The grants will go a long way toward making dozens of K-12 classrooms more engaging environments for students when they return to school in the fall. A few of the projects funded include:
- An outdoor classroom that is being created for students to experience hands-on lessons in ecology and botany at Diamond High School in the Joplin, Mo., area;
- A “Little Free” Library being established at Highlandville Elementary in Highlandville, Mo., for rural families to use to expose their children to a wider range of literature, without requiring them to drive to larger towns;
- Advanced equipment for a biology project at Seymour High School in Seymour, Mo., which will allow students to use electrophoresis to easily read DNA samples and learn about genetic screening and environmental forensics;
- Musical instruments for at-risk students in Northview Elementary School in Jennings—a St. Louis suburb—to use to learn about technical fields in music while developing the skills to read, compose, write and produce music; and
- Materials to create a magical makerspace—a shared common space where students in all grade levels can come and share their ideas and create STEM-focused products, prototypes and projects—at Longview Farm Elementary School in the Kansas City suburb of Lee’s Summit.
Teachers often spend their own savings to cover the costs of classroom projects. To thank them for their tireless efforts, WGU issued a call in March for K-12 teachers to submit their project ideas on the university’s website by April 18 for the opportunity to receive full or partial funding.
“We were happy to read about all the amazing projects our teachers have planned and are excited we can bring so many to life through our ‘Fund My Classroom’ initiative,” said Dr. Angie Besendorfer, Chancellor of WGU Missouri. “This past year has been a challenging one for both teachers and students as they were forced to adapt to new styles of teaching and learning. This initiative is an opportunity for WGU to celebrate teachers and thank them for their dedication to educating and positively impacting their students, while enhancing learning for students—both in and out of the classroom.”
This is the third consecutive year WGU Missouri made the “Fund My Classroom” initiative available for teachers in Missouri. In 2020, the university donated $15,000 in grant funding to 29 classroom projects throughout Missouri, including parts of the Kansas City, Hannibal-Quincy and St. Louis metro areas extending into Kansas and Illinois. The year prior, WGU Missouri donated $10,000 to 15 schools across the state. This year, the online, nonprofit university sorted through more than 400 nominations for classroom projects across Missouri and selected 52 for funding. Most grants were awarded during Teacher Appreciation Week, which ran May 3-7.
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.