River Falls Educators Receive $5,000 Grant from NEA Foundation

WEAC members and River Falls educators Karen Sizemore and Laura Lenneman have received a $5,000 Student Achievement Grant from the NEA Foundation to introduce basic principles of computer programming to students using tablet technology.

Sizemore is a second and third grade teacher and Lenneman is an educational assistant at Rocky Branch Elementary School.

“Good education is about inspiring children’s natural curiosity, imagination and desire to learn,” said WEAC President Betsy Kippers. “Karen and Laura are excellent examples of teachers and Education Support Professionals going the extra mile to find resources for their students. In this time of less state funding for public schools – which greatly impacts the ability of rural educators to introduce new technology – WEAC and the NEA Foundation are happy to support our members’ good ideas through grants like these.”

The grant will support teaching students basic practices such as coding, looping, decomposition, and abstracting, while using their newly acquired skills to create a program or game. Sizemore and Lenneman are among 42 educators across 22 states to receive grants from the NEA Foundation in this round of grants.  In total, the NEA Foundation has awarded $168,000 in this round to support student learning.

“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 February 1, 2015. Application forms and a video with step-by-step instructions on 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 www.neafoundation.org for more information.