By Conrad Dudderar
Yukon Public Schools’ educators will earn an “extra” boost to promote creativity in their classrooms.
“We are going to give out teacher grants even without a banquet this year,” said Sauny Shedeck, a trustee for the YPS Foundation for Excellence.
An evening banquet to honor grant recipients and contributors was supposed to be Thursday, Feb. 3 inside the Palace Event Center, 2310 N Banner Road.
“We were going to have a ‘Peace, Love & Grants’ theme, real ‘70s, and everybody was going to dress up,” Shedeck said. “Unfortunately, we’ve decided to cancel the banquet due to COVID. Hopefully, we can have it next year.”
The Yukon Foundation for Excellence has awarded hundreds of grants totaling more than $500,000 to YPS educators over the past 30 years.
These grants augment the regular school budget by funding creative programs that benefit students across the district.
Contributions to the non-profit foundation “stay in our schools”, Shedeck said.
Sauny’s grandmother, Jane Shedeck, was a founding donor of Yukon’s school foundation when it was created in 1990.
“We will award this year’s grant winners in the near future,” said Sauny Shedeck, recording secretary of the Foundation board. “We will present giant ‘gold stars’ to the teachers in their classrooms.
“We had 42 who applied for grants.”
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.
In the previous five years, grant awards averaged between $19,000-$23,000. Maximum grant amount is $1,000.
The YPS Foundation relies on fundraising and tax-deductible contributions to fund its grants-to-teachers program.
“A donation can be made in memory of a favorite teacher or family member,” Shedeck said. “Special grants are awarded every year by our ‘five-star’ donors.”
The foundation’s board of trustees always choose grant winners through a “blind” selection process; they do not know the identity of the applicants.
Grant awards are announced during surprise classroom presentations, to the thrill of both recipients and students.
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.
For more information on the YPS Foundation, call (405) 354-2579 or visit www.ypsfe.org