Since 2008, the Sioux Falls Public Schools Education Foundation has been championing teachers and students by encouraging and funding innovative solutions to enrich education in all Sioux Falls public schools. Every first-time, first-year teacher receives a $200 First Time Teacher Grant to purchase supplies to equip their classroom. Educators have purchased filing bins, folders, classroom sets of books, bulletin board materials, and art supplies. Since the program began, more than $72,000 has been awarded to new teachers.
The second funding opportunity is through the Innovation in Education Grant Program. Any teacher in the Sioux Falls School District can apply for up to $10,000 to purchase creative and inventive materials that are not financed by tax dollars. This is a competitive process. Teachers submit their applications, and a committee reviews and scores each submission. Preference is given to grants that align with the curriculum, advance District goals, and enhance the classroom experience for all learners. Teachers have used funds to purchase drones, robotics kits, flexible seating options, 3D printers, STEM activities, garden and seed kits, virtual reality goggles, light tables, simulation mannequins, and much more. Since 2008, the Foundation has awarded 334 Innovation in Education Grants, totaling more than $450,000.
The Foundation also has an endowment managed by the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation. Select donations to the Foundation are placed in a long-term investment pool, and each year, a portion of the fund’s earnings are used to support the grant programs. The rest are re-invested, ensuring the endowed funds are never depleted.
Supporting the Education Foundation provides a practical way for alumni, families, businesses, District employees, and other engaged citizens to make an investment in the quality of Sioux Falls’ public schools, and ultimately, the future of our community’s children. The Foundation is a registered nonprofit, and all donations are tax deductible.
For more information about the Education Foundation, please visit their website: www.sfeducationfoundation.org.