Skip to main content


GIPS Foundation announces Fall 2020 Classroom Grant Awards

Extraordinary Times. Extraordinary Opportunities.

GIPS Foundation announces Fall 2020 Classroom Grant Awards

The Grand Island Public Schools Foundation is pleased to release $6,995 in Fall Classroom Grant Awards. Seven classroom grants were funded this fall that will benefit 3,298 students of the Grand Island Public Schools. 

In 2020 style with masks, sans media or cheerleaders, GIPS Foundation Director Traci Skalberg delivered the grants to students and teachers at The Academies of Grand Island Senior High, Engleman Elementary, and Barr Middle School. Recipients were surprised and grateful for the investment in students during these extraordinary times.

“It is just so important to invest in our schools during these difficult times. The investment sometimes looks a little different than what we are accustomed to, but our creative teachers are always seeking ways to help students, regardless of the circumstances,” said Skalberg.

The Grand Island Public Schools Foundation awards mini-grants in two rounds on an annual basis. Mini-grants are designed to fund educational opportunities for students that are not available through the school district's general budget. Only applicants with a email address are eligible for grants.

Round 2 Deadlines:

  • December 15 - open
  • January 28 at 4:00 pm - closed
  • February - awards announced
  • Projects should begin after March 1. This could include summer school and next fall.

Following is a list of grants and their descriptions awarded in Round 1:

Rebecca Hoobler, Barr Middle School, $1,600, “Building an ‘I AM NOTICED’ Community.” This grant will allow Barr Middle School to start the process of collaborating with I AM NOTICED LLC.  I AM NOTICED is a tier one approach to Social Emotional Learning and mental wellness.  I AM NOTICED program and product is built on the foundation of teaching intra and interpersonal communication and relationship building skills.  The practice of I AM NOTICED cycle/philosophy (Want To, Positive I AM's, Noticing Goodness, Receiving Goodness and Rippling Goodness) which leads to outcomes of more confident and resilient students, staff and family members. This grant will benefit 700 students in grades 6-8.

Nicole O’Hara, Joni Jaros, LoriaLei Thunker, and Amber High, Engleman Elementary, Newell Elementary, Shoemaker Elementary and Starr Elementary, $350, “Gifted and Talented Literature Circles.” This year the GIPS Gifted Specialist team which includes four teachers will be meeting the needs of gifted and talented students in 4th and 5th grades at all 14 elementary buildings and virtual school.  (Gifted and talented students are sometimes better known as high ability learners.)  As a team, we were challenged to think outside of the box to determine a way to provide services for these students in the district in order to enhance the program's equity without hiring additional staff.  After much consideration, we determined that we could connect with students at schools without a Gifted Specialist via Zoom once a week. This grant will benefit 40 students in grades 4-5.

Katie Soto, Academies of Grand Island Senior High, $999 x5 = $4,995, “Owl Labs for EDU – Virtual Learning for the Classroom.” The OWL is a smart video conferencing camera that captures 360° video and audio of classrooms. This technology will turn our classrooms into hybrid classrooms, allowing a more engaging distance learning experience for our students. It can also be used to connect our teachers in PLCs while we are practicing social distancing, and provide video for teacher reflection. The five grants will benefit 2,558 students in the following Academies: Business and Communications; Education, Law, and Public Safety; Engineering and Technology; Medical Sciences; and Technical Sciences.

Media contact: Traci Skalberg, 308-385-5900 ext. 201170,


© 2024 Grand Island Public Schools Foundation

Powered by Firespring