Education Grants for Rock Island

August  14, 2013

     The Rock Island School District will be able to buy a lot of new equipment thanks to the Rock Island-Milan Education Foundation. Te foundation awarded $70,000 in grants to a variety of projects for kindergarten through 12th grade.

     Executive Director, Cosette Thoms, says the organization is the largest scholarship provider to Rock Island students, and helps teachers and schools who are paying out of pocket to off-set budget cuts. "The arts programs, the music programs, aren't funded the way they used to be. But of course, those are valuble programs we want for our students, so the Education Foundation was created to help fund those extra academic programs," she says.

     The foundation was formed 27 years ago.

     And this year, it received 55 requests asking for a total of $107,000 for schools and individual teachers. It was able to fund a record number, 37, totaling $70,000. Thoms says the money comes from donations and fundraising, and a lot of it goes to technology. "One graphing caculator costs $130, and parents just don't have the money to buy those sorts of things. The teachers certainly don't. And the school district budget is stretched to the limit as it is. So we're really happy that we can help fund those sorts of programs that otherwise truly would not get funded," she says.

     In addition to graphing calculators, the grants will also buy a 3-D printer, iPads, Lego kits, fitness equipment, musical instruments, and even a student run classroom library.

     Thoms says this is also the first year the Education Foundation was able to provide a grant to all schools in the Rock Island district.