Three Custer teachers receiver CYAF grants
Published: Thursday, December 29th, 2011
Three local teachers were awarded grants from the Custer Youth and Alumni Foundation to help fund activities, programs and class needs. According to Sarah Schryvers, president of the organization, the purpose of the Custer Youth and Alumni Foundation is to award the grants to local teachers to provide educational opportunities for students no longer available through the school budget.
Eve Trandem received $200 for her special education classroom. With the grant money, she plans to purchase special filters for fluorescent lights for behavior modification in her classroom.
“Students with special education needs often have easy distractibility and other health problems,” Schryvers said. “The light filters create a more calming effect and less institution like setting and therefore a better environment for learning.”
Mechelle Powers, high school science and social studies teacher and coach for the basketball cheerleaders and middle school track, received a grant for $320 for travel expenses to the Women in Science Conference in Rapid City this coming March. Custer High School has participated in this program for over a decade. During the year’s budget cuts, transportation to the yearly event was cut.
“Supt. Lepke said staff absences would be covered by the school district, but a bus for the event would not be in the budget,” Powers wrote in her proposal. “Bus costs are based on the required cents per mile and the hourly wage that the driver must be paid. All of this would add to $320.”
Patsy Berger, third grade teacher at Custer Elementary, received a grant for $200 to help fund a program touching on essential math skills and Dakota STEP testing.
“The program helps engage and motivate the students in an easy format,” Berger said. “Concepts such as geometric shapes, like lines, angles and volume, and fractions are all parts of this program.”
“The funding for this program is only for a year,” Schryvers said. “We’re hoping to get donations to keep this math program continuing.”
Berger also said the kids were enjoying the program, but money was needed to continue funding it.
In addition to grants, the Custer Youth and Alumni Foundation also provides scholarships to area students, both traditional and nontraditional. The organization reviews grant and scholarship applications throughout the year. One scholarship they offer is the Red Zacher scholarship, which is for a student enrolled in college.
“They can qualify for this scholarship after they have completed their first educational experience in college,” Schryvers said.
Other scholarships offered are the Outstanding Student Scholarship and Scholarship of Academic Excellence, which are solely supported through donations. The Custer Youth and Alumni Foundation has provided more than $2,000 in donations, all of which is dependent on donations. Deadlines for all scholarships are Feb. 15.
The Custer Youth and Alumni Foundation is a non-profit organization with donations eligible for a deduction from federal income tax. The foundation is also accepting new board members. To learn more, visit custeryouthandalumnifoundation.org.
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