This year, the Provo School District Foundation once again awarded mini-grants to teachers in the district.  In order to receive these mini-grants, teachers had to explain their idea for an innovative project within a two-page application. This application was then sent to the Provo School District Foundation Selection Committee, who decided on 11 mini-grant winners for this year (with two of them being half mini-grants).

Winners are awarded $500 in order to fund their project and are expected to write a brief report describing the project’s outcome.

The faculty who were selected are as follows:

Brian Mangum and Sara McAffee, STEAM Team – Edgemont Elementary
“The E in STEAM”

Brian and Sara will purchase seven EIE kits in order to improve and integrate engineering into Edgemont 3rd-6th grade classrooms. They hope that through this project they will be able to reinforce math and science skills, help students understand that one problem can have many solutions, and to promote effective communication and critical thinking skills.

Riley Hanni, 8th Grade- Centennial Middle School

“American Studies Podcast”

Riley will use the mini-grant reward to utilize podcast studio microphones and podcasts kit to develop a weekly class podcast that will include students developing logical arguments for major historical issues, critique historical decisions and investigate historical events that are lesser known. She hopes that, through this project, students will become more engaged in lessons through being hands-on, obtain effective speaking and listening skills and develop critical thinking skills.

Tani Brown, Erin Radandt, Madison Stewart, and Riley Hanni, 8th Grade- Centennial Middle School

“Scope for Invention”

This 8th grade teaching team will use the grant funds to buy classroom sets of Scope magazines. They hope to utilize Scope Magazine to improve student reading scores, both informational and fiction. Through this activity, students will also be able to build core skills that correlate with Utah Standards.


Denece Kitto and Sena Smith, Interventions Specialists- Timpanogos Elementary

“After School Reading/Math Interventions”

Through Denece and Sena’s project, students participating in the after school reading and math interventions will be able to select a book of their choice from the Scholastic Books magazine. Through doing this, they will be able to set a realistic goal of raising their reading level in 10 weeks. Following that challenge, students will be able to set another goal of raising their new reading level in another 10 weeks. Many different rewards will be implemented through this new reading challenge, encouraging students to read.

Shalee Mulliner, Teacher- Timpanogos Elementary

“ Laughing in Lively Literature Circles”

Shalee plans to purchase sets of humorous books that students will love to read in 50 minute literature circles. Her main goal in this project is to provide Title 1 school students with humorous relief during their day in order to get them excited about reading. She also plans to implement grammar, vocabulary, reading comprehension, fluency, accuracy, summarizing, re-reading, and many other reading strategies within the literacy circles. Shalee hopes that her overall result with this project is to get students to read several chapter books throughout the year and for students to enjoy literacy time.

Desi Vail, Cristina Carreno, Lindsey Anderson, and Rodney Price, 4th Grade-Timpanogos Elementary

“Utah Pioneers-4th Grade”

This 4th grade teaching team hopes to provide a hands-on learning experience to the Utah Pioneer curriculum by inviting Scott Grizzly Sorenson into their classrooms. Sorenson is an official mountain man and brings all of his fur and equipment to show their lifestyle. This hands-on activity will enhance the learning strategies prepared for students in social studies for the state of Utah. Their hope is that students will overall be able to gain a greater understanding and appreciation for the pioneers of Utah.

Jessica Theurer, English Teacher- Provo High School

“Literature Circle Books for Reluctant Readers”

Jessica plans to use the funding to purchase literature circle books from different books that are combined by a common theme. Students will be able to choose from the different books and discuss them in small groups. The class will then come together to connect their books by character traits, cultures, plots, themes, etc. Through this project, she hopes that students will be able to be engaged in reading, be able to connect their book to other books within the literacy circle, and that they will be able to widen their cultural perspectives.

Christy Giblon, Teacher- Dixon Middle School

“Tuners with Clip on Microphones for Band”

Christy plans to utilize this mini-grant through purchasing Korg tuners with clip on microphones. The microphones on the tuners are able to pick up the vibrations of an individual instrument rather than the audio, which provides an overall more accurate tuning experience. They can be used to tune an individual instrument while the whole class is playing instruments. Through this project, Christy will be able to tune 1/3 – ¼ of her band at a time rather than tuning each individual instrument. This will also allow students to tune themselves quickly within rehearsal time.

Mary James, Dean of Students- Independence High School

“Student Information Center Display”

With the mini-grant funds, Mary is excited to purchase a video display unit and video editing software. Doing so will allow students to produce and display videos about school activities and opportunities, student participation and work and key positive information that will be broadcasted on a large video display unit in the center of the school to be seen by all students. She hopes that this project will be able to teach students how to design video ads for maximum effect, use video to create increased awareness of activities, provide information on video editing and teach how to promote positive culture through video.

Marie Baird, 1st Grade- Franklin Elementary School

“Reading is an Adventure”

Marie Baird plans to use the funding for this project to purchase books to be used for a take home library for students. Through providing students with their own books, she hopes to instill a love for reading in students as well as providing them with access to many books.

Kendra Davis, Wendy LeBleu, and Kendra Romney, Kindergarten- Franklin Elementary School

“Published Authors”

Funding for this mini-grant will be utilized to provide Franklin kindergarten students with a field trip to the Hogle Zoo, along with the materials needed to create a class book about the experience. Students will be able to write a page for the class book about their assigned animal from the zoo. They will be responsible for illustrating a picture of their animal using the photographs they took, along with writing a short paragraph about their animal.

-November 7, 2016-