Foundation awards $36,000 for special projects in Grand Forks schools

Grants will be given to 15 teachers throughout the school district for projects ranging from robotics to reading to “calming corners” in the classroom.

Mark Sanford Center Grand Forks schools logo sign tower.jpg
The Mark Sanford Education Center, headquarters of Grand Forks Public Schools. (Grand Forks Herald photo)

GRAND FORKS – The Grand Forks Foundation for Education, Inc., is awarding more than $36,000 for special projects in Grand Forks’ public schools.

Mini-Grants and Impact Grants, totaling $36,065, will be given to 15 teachers throughout the school district for projects ranging from robotics to reading to “calming corners” in the classroom.

Elementary schools grants will be distributed to:

Discovery – Jodi Erhardt, $293, and Ann Herbeck, $289, for their “Enriching Enthusiastic English Learners” projects for K-2 students and 3-5 students, respectively; and Jennifer Trader, $1,310 for her “STEM Opportunities for Elementary Students” project;

Kelly – Tiffany Mannausau, $1,973 for her “Creating a Decodable Library” project;


Lake Agassiz – Ashley Vinje, $337 for her “Understanding Social-Emotional Learning Through Read Aloud” project; and Tracy Whalen, $719 for her “Reading is a Slam Dunk” project; and

Winship/Wilder – Nikki Kiefer, $1,345 for her “Classroom Calming Corners” project.

At Valley Middle School, John Stempinski will receive a $1,010 grant for his “Driving Further” robotics project.

High school grants will be given to teachers at:

Grand Forks Central – MaryAnn Crow, $241 for her “Literacy Library German Classes” project; and Debbie Aaker, $436 for her “Applied Math Curriculum” project; and

Community – Sara Tezel, $400 for her “History in the Making” project.

Impact Grants will be awarded to:

Kelly Entzel, Community High School, $4,500 for her “Journalism/Creative Writing Elective” project; Elizabeth Berger, Nathan Twining Elementary and Middle School, $6,000 for her “All Kids Bike Program”; Tara Ulrich, Social Academic Intervention (SAIL) Program, $6,462 for her “AIL Life Skills Support” project; and Mikayla Marion, Winship Elementary School, $10,750, for her “Barred Instruments for Winship” project to purchase xylophones and metallophones.


Mini-Grants have been funded through the Grand Forks Foundation for Education since 1992. Awards are usually given for classroom- or grade-level projects. All curriculum areas and grade levels are eligible to apply for the Mini-Grants, according to Emilia Hodgson, executive director of the foundation.

For more information on these projects or to donate to the Foundation, contact Hodgson at (701) 787-4866 or .

Pamela Knudson is a features and arts/entertainment writer for the Grand Forks Herald.

She has worked for the Herald since 2011 and has covered a wide variety of topics, including the latest performances in the region and health topics.

Pamela can be reached at or (701) 780-1107.
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