Over the past year, more than $135,000 was given to Stapleton area schools by the Foundation for Sustainable Urban Communities (formerly the Stapleton Foundation). The funds are from the Foundation’s School Grant Program that began in the fall of 2017. Eighteen NE Denver schools may apply to the Foundation in both spring and fall for grants of up to $5,000 for projects that advance academic achievement, parent engagement or provide enrichment activities.
“We are committed to do as much as possible to further the great work of our schools,’’ said Landri Taylor, the Foundation’s CEO. “Northeast Denver is a leader in education innovation. We want to be sure that is sustained for our young people.’’
The Foundation receives a portion of its revenue from the Stapleton Community Investment Fund (CIF). Established as part of the Stapleton Development Plan (The Green Book) that was approved by City Council in 1995, the fund assesses a fee of 1/4 of 1% on all residential and commercial building sales after the first $100,000 in value. The fee and the fund will continue in perpetuity. In 2017 the fee generated just over $1 million for the foundation.
The fall 2018 awards are in process and will be due Nov. 5. Spring applications will be due in late March/early April. For a full description of grants for fall 2017 and spring 2018, visit www.stapletonfoundation.org. Most were for $5,000. In each cycle there were four schools that did not apply. Grants in the fall (1) and spring (2) were for the following:
Bill Roberts (Early Childhood Education [ECE]-8)—Training teachers in the Orton-Gillingham approach to reading instruction and ensuring that classes on all grade levels are teaching the same method.
Denver Discovery School (6-8)—A 3-day training with a team developer for a renewed school culture following principal turnover.
Denver Language School (K-8)—(1) Training and materials to institute Kagan Cooperative Learning Strategies. (2) Support specifically for middle schoolers more than a year below grade level.
DSST Conservatory Green High School (9-12)—(1)Start the school’s music program with electric guitars/digital keyboards. (2) Percussion instruments and iMac computers to bridge technology and music knowledge in 2018-2019.
DSST Stapleton Middle School (6-8)—Google Read & Write program online guide to reading and writing practices, translation and voice to help pronunciation for special education (SPED) and English language learners.
DSST Stapleton HS (9-12)—Started Drop-In Homework Club after school every day, staffed by teachers to help students who are struggling.
High Tech Elementary (ECE-5)—(1) Started Robotics Club where students learn coding; teacher training in Project Based Learning. (2) Developed curriculum/practices to educate students about being global citizens; professional development.
Inspire Elementary (K-5)—(1) Started class using Legos to design/construct working machine models, learn from mistakes, and work as part of a team. (2) Initial garden on new campus.
Isabella Bird Community School (K-5)—(1) Events on cultures of immigrant students associated with their refugee newcomer center; subs so teachers could spend time with families and training on trauma/crisis. (2) Orton-Gillingham phonics training and materials.
McAuliffe International School (6-8)—(1) Mini grants for 8th graders’ community service projects; after school math tutoring. (2) Robotics club for 6th graders; robotics for all 480 6th graders.
Northfield High School (9-12)—(1) SAT preparation classes. (2) Preparation for the PSAT National Merit Score Qualifying Test (NMSQT) in October.
Odyssey School (K-8)—(1&2) Making expeditions in this Expeditionary Learning school more relevant and aligned with state standards; developing a concise curriculum map.
Rocky Mountain Prep (RMP)/Fletcher Elementary (ECE-5)—(1) Training, collaboration with current autism teachers to prepare for transition of the center to RMP, which is taking over from regular Aurora Public Schools teachers. (2) Launch an orchestra.
Roots Elementary (K-5)—Piloting Project Wonder, an initiative patterned after curriculum for gifted and talented children for students to do projects they are passionate about.
Swigert International School (ECE-5) (1&2) Before- and after-school tutoring in reading, writing and math for K-2 students; tutors for grades 3-5 to address achievement gap between white students and low income students/students of color; after-school arts enrichment classes for low income students.
Westerly Creek (ECE-5)—(1&2) Wolf Enrichment Program (wolf is school mascot) to provide tutoring in core subjects for at-risk students, enrichment STEM classes (science, technology, engineering, math) classes, rock climbing, service learning, health and wellness, and girls and boys support groups.
DSST Conservatory Green Middle School and Ashley are eligible but did not apply for grants during the fall 2017/spring 2018/cycle.
Brian Weber is Vice President of Education/Development Initiatives for the Foundation for Sustainable Urban Communities.