By Conrad Dudderar
A foundation that provides “extra” funding to Yukon teachers for innovative projects will again provide its financial boost for the 2021-22 school year.
The Yukon Foundation for Excellence has awarded grants totaling more than $500,000 to Yukon Public Schools’ educators over the past 30 years. These grants augment the regular school budget by funding creative programs that benefit students across the district.
“It’s a big honor for a teacher to receive,” YPS Foundation Trustee Sauny Shedeck said.
Contributions to the non-profit YPS Foundation for Excellence “stay in our schools and directly benefit the students,” Shedeck said in a presentation at the Oct. 14th Yukon Chamber of Commerce luncheon.
In the previous five years, grant awards averaged between $19,000-$23,000. Maximum grant amount is $1,000.
Although no teacher grants were presented during the 2020-21 school year due to COVID-19, the YPS Foundation did donate $12,000 to the school district to purchase thermometers for temperature checks at all sites.
YPS educators will again soon apply for grant funding. A banquet to recognize grant recipients and thank donors and other supporters is tentatively planned for February 2022.
The foundation’s board of trustees always choose grant winners through a “blind” selection process; they do not know the identity of the applicants.
“We may know that they teach science, but we don’t know the school or name of the teacher,” Shedeck explained.
Grant awards are announced during surprise classroom presentations, to the thrill of both recipients and students. Winners each receive a “Gold Star” presented by YPS Foundation trustees.
FOUNDED IN 1990
The YPS Foundation for Excellence was founded in 1990 by these “five-star” donors:
Mr. and Mrs. Darrell Hill, Mr. and Mrs. Gene Cranfill, the Jim Snyder Family, Mr. and Mrs. Garland Bloodworth, Mr. and Mrs. Milton Shedeck, and the Clarence Wright Family.
“They believed in promoting excellence in Yukon classrooms,” Shedeck said. “They also believed that quality education enhances the lives of our students and the community.”
The YPS Foundation is now seeking donations and sponsorships to support its efforts. Gifts may be made in honor or memory of a family member or educator.
All contributions are tax-deductible. Board members also are needed.
For more information, call (405) 354-2579 or visit www.ypsfe.org