Teachers are constantly generating ideas for improving instruction and putting them into practice in their classrooms. They are the secret sauce for innovation, a wellspring of ideas for advancing education—which is why the Canyons Education Foundation each year offers grants to help teachers bring their big ideas to fruition.

Applications are open now for the competitive grants, which recognize and support excellence in teaching by providing funds — up to $10,000 per grantee — to enhance teaching through technology, materials or supplemental programs. All applications are due Monday, Sept. 30, at 5 p.m., and the forms can be found on the Foundation’s website. Awards will be based on the educational merit, as well as the creativity of the proposals. 

Grant winners come from all grade levels and subject areas, from math and science to music and language. Requests range from robotics kits and 3-D printers to technology that helps young musicians practice challenging musical scores at home.

On any given year, a total of about $100,000 is available. Funds earned at a Sept. 18 golf tournament at Wasatch Mountain Golf Course in Midway help pay for the grants.

Questions about the grant process or the golf tournament can be answered by Canyons’ Development Office at 801-826-5178.

The Canyons Education Foundation is pleased to announce it is now accepting applications for the 2018-2019 Innovation Grants.

The grants recognize and support excellence in teaching by providing funds — up to $10,000 — to enhance elementary, middle school and high school curriculum. Applications can be accessed now through 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 28, 2018 on the Foundation’s website. Winners will be announced in November. 

All CSD educators are encouraged to apply. “It’s a chance to directly impact the classroom, students and raise the bar on exemplary teaching methods,” says Foundation Officer Denise Haycock.

Since its inception in 2009, Canyons District has been unwavering in its support of innovation in the classroom.

With rapid advances in technology, the sky’s the limit, but it takes an innovative teacher to put technology to effective use, says Haycock. “The seeds of innovation start with them.”

Since its inception in 2009, Canyons District has been unwavering in its support of innovation in the classroom. Last year, the Foundation competitively awarded $107,000 in grants to 16 teachers. Marcus Voght at Draper Park Middle used the money to invite more than a dozen professional musicians to work the band and orchestra. Others purchased virtual reality systems and 3D printers. Sunny Hafen at Oak Hollow Elementary was awarded $10,000 to purchase devices to facilitate communication among her Dual Language Immersion students.

“Because I was able to house the devices in my classroom, versus in a shared setting, I was much more able to research and play around with the possibilities of this technology,” Hafen says. “Thank you so much for supporting teachers who already have that vision and want to take their students further than current resources allow.”

Haycock says this year’s awards will be based on the educational merit of the projects that teachers propose. She encourages teachers to be specific about how their project would improve learning outcomes or the learning environment for students.
Since its inception in 2009, Canyons District has been unwavering in its support of innovation in the classroom.

With rapid advances in technology, the sky’s the limit, but it takes an innovative teacher to put technology to effective use, says Canyons Education Foundation Director Laura Barlow. “With their training and boots-on-the-ground perspective, teachers know what works and doesn’t work to help students succeed. The seeds of innovation start with them.”

Such was the impetus behind the Foundation’s Innovation grants, which are awarded each year to fuel teachers’ winning ideas for enhancing classroom instruction. Applications for the 2017-2018 round of grants are being accepted now through 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 29, 2017.

All CSD educators are eligible to apply. Applications can be accessed on the Foundation’s website for grants ranging in size between $1,000 and $10,000. Winners will be announced in November.

Barlow says, the awards will be based on the educational merit of the projects that teachers propose. She encourages teachers to be specific about how their project would improve learning outcomes or the learning environment for students.



Last year, the Foundation competitively awarded $100,000 in grants to 12 teachers. The grants brought 3D printing to Royce Shelley’s calculus class at Corner Canyon High, and have enabled Matty Barth’s students to communicate in Spanish with pen pals from around the world.

Two years ago, generous donors made it possible for a Jordan High mathematics teacher to create an after-school “makers” club where students could build the skills they need to realize their dreams of creating liquid superconductors and sending satellites into space. The club morphed into a yearly class, which, when infused with a second Canyons Foundation Innovation Grant, was able to field the Beetdigger’s first robotics team—now, the reigning regional champs.

“We’ve tried for a long time to start FIRST Robotics team, but we didn’t have the funding,” says the team’s advisor Cameo Lutz. “In past years, some of our brightest students have had to compete for neighboring teams.”

For Jordan to win the 2017 Utah FIRST Regional Robotics competition its inaugural year is almost unprecedented, says Lutz. In just two years, her students went from a rag-tag group of rookie tinkerers to the No. 1 robotics team in the region. They outwitted 48 teams from seven states and Canada, most of whom have years of experience and access to hundreds-of-thousands in funding.

“Jordan High’s victory is a perfect example of how money goes from a donor to the Foundation to the teacher to make a measurable difference for students,” says Barlow.
The Canyons Education Foundation warmed the hearts of 25 teachers — and hundreds of students — for two days in November, just as the first snow of the season hit the ground.

With bouquets of flowers and giant checks in hand, the Foundation delivered $113,000 in Innovation Grants to 17 schools across the District, greeting teachers and students who sometimes screamed, sometimes cried and sometimes spontaneously burst into song at the news.

This year, the governing Board of the Foundation awarded grants to support funding for innovative classroom teachers, special education programs, school resource and fine arts programs. The Board received more than 60 applications this year — more than double the number received last year — and increased the amount of grants distributed by $23,000.

Innovation Grants, which can range from $1,000 to $10,000 each, are awarded to recognize and support excellence in teaching throughout the District.

Teachers who received grants, and the focus of their projects, are the following:

• Stacey Nofsinger, Mount Jordan Middle, $1,264; Resource
• Melody Evans Carver, Mount Jordan Middle, $4,600; Broadcasting
• Ben Simmons, Mount Jordan Middle, $8,738; Fine Art
• Sharon Aitken, Midvale Elementary, $2,090; ELA
• Lynn Smargis-Shumate, Union Middle School, $2,390; Science
• Kendra Mallory, Julia Falcey, Melody Andrus, Butler Middle, $2,420; Special Education
• Pamela Tafili, Butler Middle, $7,470; Science
• Stephanie Campo, Ridgecrest Elementary, $2,999; Dual Immersion
• Angela Meredith, Brighton High School, $2,573; Special Education
• Michelle Van Dyken, Canyon View Elementary, $1,735; Science
• Jenni Perkins, Jamie Workman, Melissa Niskala, Lindsay Pearmain, Albion Middle School, $10,000; Fine Arts
• Wendy Hamann, Granite Elementary, $5,296; Computer programming and writing
• Third grade team, Altara Elementary, $9,136; Technology
• Anne Clyde, Edgemont Elementary, $7,432; Special Education
• Melanie Kieffer, Edgemont Elementary, $4,072; Fine Arts
• Cameo Lutz, Jordan High School, $8,668; Math
• Linda Tognoni, Park Lane Elementary, $4,159; ACC Autism
• Shelley Allen, Midvale Middle, $9,999; English Language Learners
• Michele Law, Sprucewood Elementary, $4,999; Classroom
• Melissa Thorne, Corner Canyon High School, $1,500; Fine Arts
• Amanda Toler, Corner Canyon High School, $9,780; Fine Arts
• Susan Somsen, Jordan Valley School, $2,051; Special Education

See Canyons District's Facebook page and the Foundation's Facebook page for photographs and videos of teacher's reactions to the surprise announcements.
Sold out! All 33 foursomes in the Canyons Education Foundation's sixth-annual golf tournament have been filled with golfers excited to hit the links for a good cause.  

Scott Harper, the Foundation’s Development Officer, said that all proceeds from the Monday, Sept. 21, 2015 event will go straight back to Canyons District students and teachers. The tourney, to be held this year at River Oaks Golf Course, 9300 Riverside Oaks Dr., funds the District’s popular Teacher Innovation Grant program, as well as college scholarships for low-income and deserving students.  
 
The tournament also will feature a silent auction with such items as a GoPro camera, third-row tickets to a Real Salt Lake game, overnight stays at hotels, and trips to Disneyland or Seaworld. Golfers could win a car from Karl Malone Used Car Outlet if they score a hole in one on hole No. 8. The major sponsors of the 9 a.m. tourney are Hogan Construction and VLCM.
 
Last year, the Foundation gave an estimated $90,000 to teachers who applied for Innovation Grants. The money pays for innovative projects that teachers have always wanted to do in their classrooms — but the price tag exceeded the school’s budget. Previous grants have funded the construction of an electric car, iPad story-telling labs, green screens for video filming and editing studios, and equipment to compete in robotics contests. Arts teachers in search of funding for special projects — such as a visiting choreographer or new rental instruments or perhaps the licensing for a show or a piece of music — are encouraged to apply. Click here to access an application.
 
“We have been thrilled at the response and support that we’ve received from the community for our golf tournament,” said Brad Snow, President of the governing board of the CSD Foundation. “Not only do we have a great time, we are raising money for a great cause — students and teachers in Canyons District schools.”
 
Please call Harper at 801-826-5178 if you have questions about the tournament or to make a tax-deductible donation to support Canyons students and teachers.
Page 1 of 2