ZEF awards ZCS teachers more than $12,000 in grants


The Zionsville Education Foundation has awarded more than $12,000 in classroom grants to Zionsville Community Schools teachers.

ZEF aims to provide learning opportunities for students in typical, socially distanced and remote learning situations through the grants. ZEF officials said the four grants, totaling $12,160.67, give teachers the tools they need today “with a look toward future learning.”

“Spring circumstances affected so many aspects of life for our community, and ZEF’s Spring Classroom Grants cycle was impacted as well,” ZEF Executive Director Lyle Browne stated. “We worked with grant applicants over the past few months to determine the viability and impact of their grant in the current environment.”

The grants were reviewed based on immediate practicality and long-term classroom impact.

“All four grants chosen will expand teaching options in today’s socially-distanced and hybrid learning, while also providing innovative approaches to instruction during conventional school models,” stated Challis Imes, ZEF’s board president.

The grants were awarded virtually. Browne and ZEF Grants Committee Chair Jane Louiso taped congratulatory messages for each recipient. A committee comprised of Zionsville community volunteers and ZEF board members chose the recipients.

“We are grateful to this year’s Classroom Grant Committee for their flexibility and generosity of time,” Louiso stated. “Their thoughtful discussion ensured that the grants awarded are not only timely, but that they will have a lasting impact on education at ZCS.”

The foundation, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, funds ZCS district schools thanks to individual, corporate, small business and family donors. In 2019, ZEF awarded more than $130,000 in support of ZCS teachers and students.

Zionsville Education Foundation 2020 Classroom Grants

  • Libby Berman and Cheri Mikesell, Pleasant View Elementary School ($2,885.98)
    Technology provided by the grant will be utilized in multiple ways to ensure quality instruction during all teaching situations. It will transform the classroom LCD projectors and computers into interactive whiteboards for all in-person instruction, provide socially distanced student engagement in the current learning environment or enhance video instruction options in the event of remote learning.
  • Amy Knueven, Stonegate Elementary School ($2,299.90)
    K’Nex Kits will give students hands-on experience building, using and understanding simple machines. The materials can be used in typical learning situations as well as socially distanced classrooms. The grant provides 30 sets, giving each student in a class access to hands-on learning. The sets will be rotated among classes with time for cleaning in between.
  • Emily Zucker, Union Elementary School ($2,035.99)
    Ukuleles will provide students an introduction to the string family, teach chord patterns and spark conversations about cultural understandings. They will provide alternate instructional options, and a cart will enable the instruments to travel among classrooms providing flexibility in socially distanced learning.
  • Trisha Smart, Zionsville West Middle School ($4,938.80)
    Equipment for Zionsville West Middle School will help promote lifelong fitness in students and provide additional options for individual fitness activities during socially distanced learning.
  • Total Grants Awarded: $12,160.67