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Foundation for Education Awards $36,065 for Local School Projects

News Release

For Immediate Release

March 15, 2023

Foundation for Education Awards $36,065 for Local School Projects

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – The Grand Forks Foundation for Education, Inc. is awarding $36,065 through 15 grants this spring to help fund a variety of enrichment projects in Grand Forks Public Schools.

The Mini-Grants have been funded through the Foundation for Education since 1992. Awards are usually for classroom-level or grade-level projects. All areas of curriculum and all grade levels are eligible for Mini-Grants.

Elementary School Mini-Grants

  • $293 – Jodi Erhardt, Discovery, for her “Enriching Enthusiastic English Learners (EL)” project, to purchase games and activities for EL learners in Kindergarten-2nd grades to help them increase their reading skills, writing abilities, and proficiency levels.
  • $289 – Ann Herbeck, Discovery, for her “Enriching Enthusiastic English Learners” project, to purchase games and activities for EL learners in 3rd-5th grades to help them increase their reading skills, writing abilities, and proficiency levels.
  • $337 – Ashley Vinje, Lake Agassiz, for her “Understanding Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Through Read Aloud” project, to purchase SEL books to help Kindergarten-5th grade students understand different emotions and feelings.
  • $719 – Tracy Whalen, Lake Agassiz, for her “Reading is a Slam Dunk” project, to purchase the “Inside the NBA” non-fiction collection for the library.
  • $1,310 – Jennifer Trader, Discovery, for her “STEM Opportunities for Elementary Students” project, to purchase two 2nd generation VEX Robotics Kits, a game field, and a cart for transportation.
  • $1,345 – Nikki Kieffer, Winship/Wilder, for her “Classroom Calming Corners” project, to create calming corners in 14 classrooms at Winship and Wilder. Calming corners provide a space within the classroom that students can access for emotional self-regulation.
  • $1,973 – Tiffany Mannausau, Kelly, for her “Creating a Decodable Library” project, to establish a “book room” of decodable book resources for classroom teachers to use in their small group instruction.

Middle School Mini-Grants

  • $1,010 – John Stempinski, Valley, for his “Driving Further” project, to purchase a vehicle chassis kit for 8th grade robotics students to dive into mechanisms and how they make things work.

High School Mini-Grants

  • $241 – MaryAnn Crow, Grand Forks Central, for her “Literacy Library German Classes” project, to purchase German language books to support sustained silent reading in class.
  • $400 – Sara Tezel, Community, for her “History in the Making” project, to purchase a camera to record Community students’ oral histories, supporting real world communication and interpersonal skills.
  • $436 – Debbie Aaker, Grand Forks Central, or her “Applied Math Curriculum” project, to purchase curriculum materials for a special education math class that focuses on functional math skills.

Impact Grants

  • $4,500 – Kelly Entzel, Community, for her “Journalism/Creative Writing Elective” project. Funds will be used to purchase a desktop, cameras, and additional supplies to establish a journalism/creative writing class at Community.
  • $6,000 – Elizabeth Berger, Nathan Twining, for her “All Kids Bike Program” project, to establish a program that teaches kindergarten students the life-long skill of riding a bike. Funds will purchase 24 balance bikes, helmets, and curriculum that can be used year after year.
  • $6,462 – Tara Ulrich, Social Academic Intervention Learning (SAIL) Program, for her “SAIL Life Skills Support” project, to provide an academic center (math manipulatives, science models/microscopes, art supplies, journals), a calming center (low lighting, comfortable seating, calming music), and a movement center (active games, movement wristbands, and more) at the two SAIL program locations.
  • $10,750 – Mikayla Marion, Winship, for her “Barred Instruments for Winship” project, to purchase new xylophones and metallophones so Winship students can achieve three main standards of music education; creating, performing, and responding to music.

For further information on the projects that were funded this spring, please contact Foundation Executive Director Emilia Hodgson at 701.787.4866 or