2017 Fall Grants – more than $42,000 awarded!

The Appleton Education Foundation has approved grants totaling more than $42,000 to support creative programs and projects that enhance the education of Appleton Area School District students.

Thirty-nine requests received funding. All grants were awarded from the Appleton Education Foundation Fund – an unrestricted endowment – unless otherwise noted.

Three funds within the Appleton Education Foundation awarded grants for the first time.Birth to Five

Appleton Area School District

  • $3,000 for author Ben Mikaelsen to visit Appleton. He will speak to 4th-12th grade students and present a professional development session for staff.
  • $2,500 from the AEF Fund and Gruner Family Community Mental Wellness Fund to expand family dinner nights at five AASD elementary schools.
  • $2,000 to support professional development opportunities for AASD staff members attending the African Heritage Emerging Student Leaders Institute.
  • $2,000 for skateboard kits and lessons for students to learn to skateboard, while incorporating growth mindset practice.
  • $2,000 from the John Mielke and Sally Morey Mielke Education Fund and AEF Fund to sponsor Big Arts in the Little Apple. Nearly 900 3rd– and 4th-grade students will create artwork to be displayed in a community-wide exhibit.
  • $2,000 to bring Marcia Gentry to AASD to train staff on the Total School Cluster Grouping model – a different approach to student placement in classrooms that helps to enhance students’ strengths, skills, and confidence.
  • $925 for professional development related to career based learning.
  • $750 to support the 30th Annual Young Parent Conference. Participants will receive resource bags (books, childproofing supplies, etc.) and learn about community services.
  • $727 for photography equipment to enhance opportunities for students in the high school capstone marketing courses.
  • $500 from the Mielke Fund for prop boxes to help AASD diagnostic team members better assess the language and literacy levels of young children.


Appleton Community 4-K – $415 from the Gruner Fund to purchase alternative seating options for use in the districts’ 4-K sites.A Techg

Badger Elementary School – $2,000 to bring musician, songwriter, storyteller, and Kennedy Center Teaching Artist Stuart Stotts to Badger for a three-day artist in residency.

Berry Elementary School – $845 from the Betsy Melzer Endowment Fund for the Beamz Interactive Laser Musical System. This will allow students with severe intellectual disabilities to better access curriculum and engage in music making.

Central High School – $2,071 from the Vira and Alan Stoner Education Fund and AEF Fund to create an urban indoor ecosystem. This indoor worm composting and 60-gallon aquaponics system will be incorporated into life science, food science, fitness, and art curricula.

Columbus Elementary School – $482 from the Ellen Kort Endowment Fund to support the “Tell Us Your Story” project. Children and parents will be invited to submit stories of their families. Family stories will be bound in a hardcover book and available for check out from the school library.

East High School – $720 from the Melzer Fund to support a positive behavior incentive program for students with emotional/behavioral disabilities.

Edison Elementary School – $649 to bring guest presenters to a 2nd-grade classroom.

Einstein Middle School – $250 from the Kort Fund for a workshop with Wisconsin’s current poet laureate Karla Huston

Foster Elementary School – $310 from the Scheuerman Family Fund to purchase alternative seating options for a 3rd-grade classroom.

Fox River Academy – $1,255 from the Stan and Phyllis Thatcher Family Fund for STEM and the AEF Fund for Ozobots. Students will use these tiny robots to learn coding and other STEM skills.

Highlands Elementary School – $336.46 from the Melzer Fund for iPads and accessories to increase consistency and data collection among staff members working with students with autism.

Horizons Elementary School – $2,000 to help fund a three-week artist-in-residency program to  teach students the art of papermaking and create a paper sculpture in the LMC

$1,250 to fund leadership and growth mindset training for 5th– and 6th-grade boys

$600 from the Diversity Fund to bring author Shawn Sayner to school. Sayner is the author of “What I Can Do with my Do!”

Jefferson Elementary School – $448 from the Kort Fund and AEF Fund to help 6th-grade students create a poetry anthology.

Johnston Elementary School – $895 for supplies and an artist-in-residence to beautify the school with positive affirmations.

$400 from the Gruner Fund to build a “Kindness Barometer” to track acts of compassion among members of the school community.

$356 from the Gruner Fund to support trips for kindergarten students to Carolina Assisted Living. Students will read to, listen to music with, and work on art projects with residents.

Madison Middle School – $1,149 to support the efforts of the In Stitches Needle Arts Club and students in the family and consumer science academic career planning courses.

McKinley Elementary School – $1,271 from the Melzer Fund and Bob and Gerri Heffron Family Endowment Fund to support equine assisted therapy for students in partnership with CHAPS.

$500 from the Ann Moe Art Appreciation Fund for “My Gratitude Attitude.” Students will keep gratitude journals and create a piece of art for a person in their lives for whom they are grateful.

North High School – $1,755 to purchase a glass kiln.

Renaissance School for the Arts – $1,100 from the Stoner Fund toward the purchase of videoconferencing equipment to connect students with experts throughout the world.IMG_1492

West High School – $2,000 to join other partners, including Eagle Plastics and Great Northern, to purchase a CNC milling machine. Students at West and Appleton Technical Academy will benefit.

$1,625 for Garmin fitness trackers. Students in the Victory Program will be encouraged to exercise and track their statistics.

$500 to support Men of Distinction programming.

Wilson Middle School – $1,000 from the Mile of Music Fund and AEF Fund to bring Corey Torres to Wilson. Torres will challenge students to face life through writing, storytelling, and music.

$500 from the Mile of Music Fund to support the theatre department’s production of “James and the Giant Peach.”

$500 from the Heffron Fund for students to build a Blessing Box on school grounds. Nonperishable food items and toiletries will be stocked and available to anyone who needs them.


Visit the Appleton Education Foundation Facebook page for all grant delivery photos.