Many teachers are returning to their classrooms this week with energy, excitement and a lot of innovative ideas to make learning fun and exciting for their students. There is often just one thing that stands in their way – and that is finding the necessary funding to bring their ideas to fruition.

Beyond Pencils and Crayons Grants, awarded through the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin, are designed to recognize teachers for their creative ideas. The Foundation’s board of directors has allocated up to $25,000 to be awarded from the Wausau/Marathon County Fund for projects to be completed in the 2017-18 school year, according to a foundation news release.

“We know that our schools are filled with inspired teachers who have great ideas that will get their students excited about learning,” said Amy Plier, chair of the Foundation’s distributions committee. “As school budgets continue to be strained, we hope that they will look to the Community Foundation as a potential funding source to allow them to dream big and implement projects that will enhance their classroom experiences.”

Applications are welcome from 4K – grade 12 public or private school teachers from throughout Marathon County. Requests can be submitted for up to $5,000 per project and there is no limit on how many applications will be accepted from any one school.

The foundation is looking for innovative and creative projects that:

  • Enrich the educational experience
  • Motivate and inspire students and educators
  • Demonstrate a sense of community
  • Are cost-effective
  • Fill a specific need

Teachers are encouraged to apply through the Community Foundation’s online grant application portal. They can access it through the website at Completed applications must be submitted by September 30 to be considered by the Selection Committee.