The Lincoln County R-III Education Foundation offers grants to projects that are not covered by the school district’s annual operating budget. Through the Lincoln County R-III Education Foundation, teachers can submit a grant request in the areas of technology, student enrichment or instructional initiative. Over the past six years the Lincoln County R-III Education Foundation has awarded $505,029 in grants to be used within the Lincoln County school district.
On May 17, the Education Foundation awarded another $53,000 through 26 grants throughout the school district.
The Lincoln County R-III Education Foundation was able to award two teachers from Main Street Elementary, Stephanie Harris and Melissa Skibinski, with a grant to integrate science and social studies into the traditional reading curriculum. At Main Street Elementary, each classroom is equipped with a grade-specific library.
“We wanted to increase non-fiction books, but we also wanted to integrate our science and social studies standards because we feel like those areas sometimes don’t get the same amount of instructional time,” Skibinski said. With the inclusion of these genres, students will have the opportunity to engage in curriculum-based books while in a non-traditional classroom setting. The use of small group, partner reading and relaxed reading setting are tactics used to encourage students to engage in reading. The grant would cover over fifty different books, with four copies of each book.
“We can also use these books during small group time to work on reading skills with kids, so not only are we working on reading skills but we are also putting our science and social studies standards into small groups,” Harris said. This is Harris’s first year grant for the integrated reading. Skibinski was awarded three grants for level readers, flexible classroom seating and dry erase and letter boards.
“My very first year after using this [integrated reading] my kids were actually at about 70 percent on grade level for academic improvement”, Skibinski said. The grant covers an entire grade level for one school. Within Main Street Elementary, other teachers have been working to integrate curriculum standards into reading workshops for higher grade levels.
At Troy Buchanan High School, Amy Venneman was awarded three grants by the Education Foundation to use in her department.
“The Education Foundation made themselves available for grant writing workshops where they gave us some guidance through the writing process,” Venneman said. She applied for three different grants for specific areas where she saw need. Being her first year in the library at TBHS, she hopes to update the current book selection with the use of one of the grants.
“The older literature is important to our students because they need that knowledge base before they move on past high school,” Venneman said. The second grant focused on the non-fiction selection, as it is constantly changing. Venneman will use the grant money to continue to update non-fiction as she sees fit. The final grant she recieved was to create reading nooks throughout the library for the students to use.
“As kids are starting to come in here more, I want to make it a comfortable place for them to collaborate and enjoy being here,” Venneman said. Looking towards the future, she would like to add other technology including a 3D Printer.
“There is a lot of things that need upgrades in order to make this more than just a library but [also] a media center for the students to use,” Venneman said. To achieve the grant, the proposal must align with Missouri Comprehensive School Improvement Plan, CSIP, as well as the guidelines for building level improvement. The Missouri CSIP works to provide all students access to a broad range of high quality educational opportunities from early learning to post-high school engagement, prepare, develop and support educators to ensure an effective teacher in every classroom and effective leader in every school, taken from the CSIP guidance handbook. For the grant proposal there is to be prior research done over articles showing similar results, a detailed outline and timeline, as well as specific materials needed by the grant.
“The Education Foundation makes themselves very available to the teachers and is a great program for the district,” Venneman said.
For a full list of all the grants received, visit