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Dysart Education Foundation Awards Spring Mini-Grants


The Dysart Education Foundation (DEF) recently announced seven recipients for the 2021 Spring mini-grants.  This opportunity was made possible by sponsorships from Cox Charities and Southwest Foodservice Excellence.  Submissions were awarded based on projects that incorporate arts, STEM education, student need, and creativity in student learning, and winners include:

- Molly Davis, a Reading Interventionist from El Mirage Elementary School, will purchase Kindermusik® research-based curriculum for kindergarten and first grade students who are learning to read. The curriculum is built around music and focuses on language, literacy, and social skills. In addition to classroom activities, students and their families will receive online access to download songs and a storybook each month and will be able to sing and read with their children at home.

- Andrea Zunigha, a Social Worker at Kingswood Elementary School, will move forward with her "Souper Swag Sacks" project, which will provide meals for families over the weekend who are in need. Students can privately check out a backpack with food on Friday and return the backpack during the school week.

- Kristie Crane, an Art Teacher from Canyon Ridge School, received a mini-grant that will allow 350 students the opportunity to experience virtual tours of the Phoenix Art Museum with docents leading the virtual tours, and hands-on activities to reinforce learning.

- Jean Vogel, a Kindergarten Teacher at Asante Elementary School, will provide her students with the ability to explore, build, create, and imagine in a safe and encouraging environment with building materials such as blocks, interlocking plastic disks, magnets, straw connectors, puzzle pieces, pattern blocks, wheels, geoboards, 3D shapes, suction cups, and mini Legos.

- Christina Tormollan, a K-8 iExplore Teacher at Luke Elementary School, will purchase materials for her "Engineers in the Making" project. In a Makerspace environment, students will collaborate with others as they focus on an idea and use materials such as beams, brackets, nuts and bolts to design and solve problems.

- Elizabeth Maki and Haley Ruebsamen, both Science Teachers at Shadow Ridge High School, will purchase science probeware for their science labs. The probeware will assist with the changes in science standards and ensure that students are ready for post secondary science fieldwork as probeware is a staple of college and research labs.

The Dysart Education Foundation (DEF) is a non-profit organization supporting students and teachers in the Dysart Unified School District. For more information about DEF or to make a donation, please visit

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