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Western Governors University awards over $23K to Illinois K-12 teachers

Funds will be used for 27 classroom projects in districts across the state

Western Governors University (WGU) recently announced it has awarded more than $23,200 in grant funding to teachers across the state to fund their innovative classroom projects that foster learning in new, unique ways.

The grants are made possible through WGU’s “Fund My Classroom” initiative, and a total of 27 classroom projects were selected for funding.

The grants will go toward making several K-12 classrooms more engaging environments for students when they return to school this fall.

Projects set to receive funding include materials to create a calming classroom environment to meet students’ growing needs in social emotional learning at Highland Primary School in Highland; an HP inkjet printer, service agreement and supplies to run a classroom business at Proviso East High School in Maywood; materials to create a makerspace for fourth-grade students at Mary Morgan Elementary School in Byron to explore their passions and interests; a classroom set of hands-on science kits at Nauvoo-Colusa Jr. High School in Nauvoo; several new copies of graphic novels for students to read in literature circles at Lincoln Community High School in Lincoln; a set of wireless Go Direct® Temperature Probes to replace the current glass alcohol thermometers at Joliet Central High School in Joliet; and materials to create a “Little Free Library” at McKinley Elementary School in Bellwood.

Teachers often spend their own savings to cover the costs of classroom projects that create an impactful learning experience for students. 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 17 for the opportunity to receive full or partial funding.

“We enjoyed reading 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. Terrance Hopson, regional vice president of Western Governors University. “These past few years have been challenging for teachers as they were forced to navigate diverse styles of teaching to best lead students on their education journey. This initiative is an opportunity for WGU to celebrate deserving teachers, who go above and beyond to educate our students, by providing them with funding they can use to further enhance learning both in and out of the classroom.”

WGU’s “Fund My Classroom” initiative was launched in Missouri in 2019. Last year was the first year the grant initiative was available to teachers across the entire state of Illinois, where WGU awarded $20,000 in grant funding to 12 innovative classroom projects. This year, the nonprofit, fully online university sorted through more than 80 nominations for classroom projects and selected 27 for funding. Most grants were awarded during Teacher Appreciation Week, which ran May 2 through 6.

To learn more about the “Fund My Classroom” initiative and the work WGU is doing to help teachers advance their careers, visit www.wgu.edu.

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