Grants help many in Weber School District

Nov 23 2011 - 4:37pm

NORTH OGDEN -- North Ogden Junior High School band students won't have to wonder if their instruments will play or if their instrument cases will break once they return from Thanksgiving Break thanks to a $1,000 grant to repair those instruments.

North Ogden Junior High along with two other schools in Weber School District received $3,500 in grants from the 100 percent For Kids Foundation. The Utah-based foundation is made up of area credit unions that offer hundreds of grants to school teachers across the state.

North Ogden Junior High Band teacher Jessica Smith heard about the grant from the Weber High School band teacher and is thrilled to be receiving the grant. She just sent 12 instruments to be repaired last week and they will be shiny and up to snuff for students next week.

"We had duct tape on the cases and dents in the instruments. You never knew if they were going to play or not," Smith said. The instruments are used for student rentals or for students who cannot afford their own instruments.

The band at the school more than doubled its size from last year to this year, so having playable instruments has been a priority.

"We have a lot of goals and this is one of the steps to completing those goals," Smith said.

Those are just the types of stories that Liz White, director of the 100 percent For Kids Foundation, likes to hear. The foundation receives hundreds of grant applications each year and try to award about 30 per across the state per quarter.

"We try to meet everyone's needs, but it's not possible," White said. "Chances are if they receive the grant it's because the program is one of the best."

Angie Trease teaches fourth grade at Farr West Elementary and wanted newer Utah history textbooks for her students, so she applied for the grant. She received $1,500 and was able to buy enough books for two of the five classes of fourth graders. The students will share the books, but it is still thrilling for Trease to receive them.

"There is modern information," Trease said noting that the 2002 Olympics are mentioned in the new textbooks, where the copyright date in the old ones is before 2002. "I am just really grateful."

Pioneer Elementary also received $1,000 for writing for first through third graders.

Trease said she likes to try to get money where she can for her students because it can be scarce within the school. Smith said the extras can make all the difference for students and can help students to achieve their goals.

"Good things are happening," she said.

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