The Appleton Education Foundation board of directors approved grants totaling nearly $23,000 to support creative programs and projects that enhance the education of Appleton Area School District students.

Twenty-six projects are receiving funding.


$1,500 from the Bob and Gerri Heffron Family Endowment Fund and John Mielke and Sally Morey Mielke Education Fund to join other partners in supporting the purchase of a SPOT Vision Screener to quickly and accurately identify vision needs in children ages birth-five who are served at the Community Early Learning Center.

$500 from the Heffron Family Fund for a redo of the early childhood special education diagnostic play center. A new kitchen set, store, food, cooking accessories and toys will promote accurate, valid and reliable assessment procedures.

Up to $500 from the AEF Fund to offset fees to send high-ability sixth-grade students to College Days for Kids at UW Stevens Point.

Appleton East

$1,000 from the Betsy Melzer Endowment Fund and AEF Fund for incentives to help motivate students within the Emotional Behavioral Disabilities program.

$986 from the SAACC Endowment Fund to launch the AE ESPORTS team – a gaming club that competes in the Wisconsin High School Esports Association.

$950 from the Gruner Family Community Mental Wellness Fund to purchase fitness equipment for use by students with special needs. 

Appleton West

$2,511 from the Ann Moe Art Appreciation Fund and Vira and Alan Stoner Education Fund for a raku kiln. Students will learn the science behind this firing process, which is significantly different from the traditional electric kiln process.

$1,000 from the SAACC Endowment Fund for a sports psychology consultant to work with student-athletes – individually and as teams and with coaches.

$250 from the Melzer Fund for alternate seating options for West’s new Autism program.

Columbus Elementary

$250 from the Stan and Phyllis Thatcher Family Fund for STEM to create portable STEAM bins with structured activities for kindergarten students.

Edison Elementary

$1,316 from the Gruner Fund will provide one new book per month for all students in Kindergarten through third-grade.

Einstein Middle

$996 from the Scheuerman Family Fund and Mile of Music Fund to purchase instruments and equipment for the school’s growing jazz and rock bands.

Ferber Elementary

$375 from the Mielke Fund to increase literacy skills for kindergarten through second-grade students through the use of songs, rhymes and finger puppets.

Fox River Academy

$2,000 from the Stoner Fund and Thatcher Fund to purchase Piper Computer Kits. Students in grades five through eight will learn how to build and program a computer.

Highlands Elementary

$560 from the AEF Fund for Softzone floor cushions to be used during specific activities.

Horizons Elementary

$2,000 from the Melzer Endowment Fund, Scheuerman Fund and Mielke Fund to purchase and install large communication boards in locations where speech generating devices are not permitted (gym, playground, etc.).

Johnston Elementary

$378 from the Gruner Fund to support the “Interacting with Our Elders” program for kindergarten students.

$280 from the Melzer Fund to create a sensory walk and wall boards throughout the school.

Kaleidoscope Academy

$650 from the Mile of Music Fund and AEF Fund for drumming circle instruments, which will be used in two art integration projects. Sixth-grade students will learn about radio broadcasts and how instruments are used to create sound effects. Seventh-grade students will learn about the instruments during their study of Africa.

Madison Middle

$600 from the Stoner Fund to support Late Start Connections, Madison’s pilot program to use late-start days to connect with students and build the school community.

Magellan Charter School

$1,068 from the Stoner Fund and Thatcher Fund to create an aeroponic garden.

McKinley Elementary

$500 from the Melzer Fund to provide developmentally appropriate materials to 4K children with special needs and those who are dual language learners, to increase movement breaks and physical skill development opportunities.

Paper Discovery Center

$659 from the Stoner Fund to allow students at Renaissance School for the Arts to create a Sensory Garden at the Paper Discovery Center.

PRIDE Program

$1,031 from the Heffron Fund and Gruner Fund to create a PRIDE Program Wellness Food Lab to target social-emotional, behavioral, and physical wellbeing while providing “real life” experiences for health, math and science concepts.

Richmond Elementary

$750 from the AEF Fund for a Breakout EDU game kit to transform physical education class into an escape room.

$300 from the Mielke Fund to launch the school’s initiative to support students in need.


The next grant deadline is April 1. Check out our available grants!