By Kelsey Musick
Each year, the Zionsville Education Foundation delivers classroom grants to teachers in the fall and spring.
This fall, classroom grants were powered by a $25,000 donation from the Duke Energy Foundation.
ZEF Executive Director Lyle Browne has been with the foundation for 2 1/2 years and lives in Zionsville with her husband, Anthony, and their three children – all of whom attended Zionsville Community Schools.
“They are two of my favorite days each year,” Browne said. “The excitement, disbelief, gratitude and pure joy on the faces of the teachers receiving grants is amazing. It is on these days that the community support we receive throughout the year comes together to truly help teachers as they create innovative projects for students.”
The foundation operates as a nonprofit that aims to provide funds to help promote educational excellence. Donations from individuals, corporations and local businesses combine to bring life to innovative projects.
“This broad community support comes together as ZEF funds classrooms, Imagine Professional Development, strategic initiatives and student enrichment grants,” Browne said. “ZEF enables teachers and administrators to dream big for students and education in a school district that is the lowest funded per student in the state of Indiana.”
Due to the Duke Energy Foundation and other donors, ZEF was able to fund 13 grants this fall, covering seven Zionsville Community Schools.
“Shrieks of joy, a happy dance, surprise and excitement were found along the way as the ZEF Prize Patrol awarded $28,068.11 in grants to ZCS teachers and schools,” Browne said. “The grants fund creative ideas in many areas including STEM, cultural understandings, social and emotional learning and unique uses of technology in the classroom.”