For 25 years, outstanding teachers from throughout Yavapai County had been honored by the Yavapai County Education Foundation during annual spring Teacher of the Year ceremonies.
But no longer, said foundation President Tim Wiederaenders and his fellow officers Mike Ellegood, vice-president, and Tim Carter, secretary-treasurer, in a formal statement issued in August.
During the past quarter-century, hundreds of teachers from grades preschool and kindergarten through high school were named and recognized annually during a well-attended banquet at the Prescott Resort.
Often as many as 70 teachers were nominated from public and charter schools, and the award winners in various categories received substantial cash awards and trophies.
That was during a time when the only significant education foundation in the county was the Yavapai County Education Foundation. In recent years, individual school districts have organized their own foundations.
Wiederaenders and fellow officers said in a news release: “The board regrets the action, but the decline in revenues needed to support this costly program have escalated. It is human nature that people would prefer to support their local education foundation rather than a countywide foundation, which supports 26 distinct school districts.”
Emphasis Shifting to School Grants Projects
Wiederaenders said the Yavapai County Education Foundation will continue but will shift its major emphasis to classroom grants. YCEF’s Classroom and School grant program was established in 1994, sponsoring both the TOY program and previously titled, Mini-Grant Program. Future focus and resources will go towards expanding Classroom and School Grant programs. The focus will be to raise funds to provide financial assistance to classroom teachers from schools throughout Yavapai County. The program will reward teachers who go above and beyond in offering innovative learning opportunities for children. Teachers can apply for funds to assist them in funding classroom projects.
Teachers can apply as individuals or in partnership with their schools and/or school districts. Grants can amount to as much as $500 for classroom programs, and up to $1,000 for matching grants.
The Yavapai County Education Foundation has announced that grant applications will be accepted up to Nov. 2, 2020. Recipients will be announced in late November, with funds to be released in December.
Corporate sponsors contributing to the foundation include premier sponsor, Lamb Chevrolet, Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold, Arizona Community Foundation of Yavapai County, Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Prescott, Prescott Sunrise Lions Club, Rotary Club of Prescott-Sunup and the generosity of individual donors.
Information on the Grant programs and available sponsorships can be obtained by calling Jenn Nelson at 928-442-5138 or by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.