Belvidere educators receive $5,000 grant for Claymation films

Online Staff Report

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Catherine Urban, an art educator, and co-applicant, Dan Beetstra, of Lincoln Elementary School in Belvidere, Illinois, have received a $5,000 Student Achievement Grant from the NEA Foundation to help students apply their fine arts curriculum knowledge by making Claymation films. Students will work in small groups to create a story, sculpt characters, film and compose soundtracks. The project will culminate with students sharing their films with the peers, parents and the community.

Nationwide, the NEA Foundation announced that it is awarding grants to 42 educators across 22 states for a total of $168,000.

With these grants, we are supporting educator-driven solutions that contribute to improved student performance in public schools,” said Harriet Sanford, president and CEO of the NEA Foundation. “Our support enables educators to engage in a wide variety of innovative approaches to the benefit of students across the country.”

The NEA Foundation awards two levels of grant funding — $2,000 or $5,000 — for two categories of grants to public education professionals: Student Achievement Grants for initiatives to improve academic achievement, and Learning and Leadership Grants for high-quality educational professional development activities.

A team of 20 educators, many former grantees, carefully reviewed all applications and evaluated each one against a set of criteria. Funded educator grants were selected for the quality of the grant proposal ideas and their potential for enhancing student achievement.

Over the past decade, the NEA Foundation has invested more than $7.1 million in teaching grants to support the work of almost 4,500 educators from every state in the country to help students succeed. Each year, the Foundation awards approximately 150 Student Achievement and Learning and Leadership Grants. To learn about these educators’ projects, visit the NEA Foundation’s Grantee Archive. Search for grantees and projects by most recent, grade level, subject, state or keyword.

The NEA Foundation awards its grants to educators three times a year. The next education grant deadline is Feb. 1, 2015. Application forms and a video with step-by-step instructions about how to apply can be found in the Grants to Educators section of the NEA Foundation website.

The NEA Foundation is a public charity supported by contributions from educators’ dues, corporate sponsors and others. The NEA Foundation supports student success by helping public school educators work with key partners to build strong systems of shared responsibility. Visit for more information.

Posted Dec. 12, 2014

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