Idaho CapEd Foundation’s Teacher Grants Offer Critical Support to Idaho Educators

One high school band teacher used grant funds to keep his class connected through the pandemic.

2/16/2021

Whether it’s helping a student figure out a tough math problem or conquer that next reading level, teachers are everyday heroes who dedicate their lives to inspiring and educating. Sometimes, unfortunately, this essential work comes at a price — often paid out of a teacher’s own pocket.

To help ease this financial burden on educators, the Idaho CapEd Foundation awards Teacher Grants to teachers, nurses, school resource officers, and counselors across the Gem State who find creative ways to enhance students’ education.

One of those teachers is A.J. Davidsen, a high school band teacher at North Star Charter School in Eagle, Idaho.

Due to COVID-19, Davidsen and his students had to quickly transition to a block hybrid learning environment, where he taught half the class one day, and the other half the next. This presented a big challenge, as every student playing their instrument simultaneously is key to successfully performing a complex piece of music.

After receiving a Teacher Grant, Davidsen found an innovative way to help his students continue to learn.

“This grant [allowed] me to be able to get the equipment necessary to produce high-quality recordings of my groups and record all the individual tracks of the individual players,” Davidsen said.

With only half of students in the classroom at a time, Davidsen alternates recording days and combines the recordings into a single piece of music. This allows students to practice at home and continue mastering their instruments.

The Foundation awards eight grants per month at a maximum of $750 per grant. To qualify, applicants must be an educator at an accredited public, private, or parochial school in Idaho, and must demonstrate that the funds will be put toward technology and/or supplies to increase classroom learning and help meet district and state guidelines.

To date, 725 teachers have received funds through the program, putting more than $475,000 toward educational projects in Idaho schools.

Past grants have been put to work to create a classroom reading corner, supply at-risk students with backpacks, and purchase books for libraries, manipulatives for math, supplies for science and technology classes, and items to enhance meaningful occupational education in Extended Resource classrooms.

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