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2019 Grant Winners and Outstanding Teacher of the Year

Each year, Great Plains Communications is proud and honored for the chance to support our communities through our “Commitment to Our Schools” program. This year we were able to present five grants, totaling just under $20,000. We would like to take this time to again congratulate all of our 2019 grant recipients as well as our 2019 Outstanding Teacher of the Year.

Broken Bow Public Schools – $2,000 Grant

The grant will be used to support the development of a modern Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) lab. The lab includes a vinyl cutter, Makey-Makeys, circuit boards, a button maker, Dash and Dot robots, several agricultural related kits, and more. Funding from Great Plains Communications will be used to help obtain a 3D printer that will be available to all middle and high school students throughout the school day and will become a part of the curriculum for their newly formed STEM club.

 

Cody-Kilgore Elementary School – $4,500 Grant

cody kilgore

The school plans to use the money to support the implementation of a mobile Chromebook lab for the lower elementary students. As a Google school, Cody-Kilgore students in grades 4-12 are 1:1 utilizing Chromebooks. The lab will help the younger students familiarize themselves with the devices and technology, better preparing them for advanced grade levels.

 

Creighton Community Public Schools – $5,000 Grant

The funds will be used to purchase technology equipment for the development of a Radio and Television studio. The studio will not only provide students with first-hand experience with radio and television technology, but it will also serve as a vehicle to deliver school news to the community.

 

Perkins County Elementary School – $2,500 Grant

The grant will be used to support the development of an Aquaponics Lab. Aquaponics is the combination of aquaculture (raising fish) and hydroponics (growing plants without soil) that grows fish and plants together in one combined system. Amanda Wood, Science Teacher at Perkins County Elementary shared her beliefs that children need to be exposed to the amazing areas of science at an early age to ignite their passion to seek and understand more of the world around them.

 

Riverside Public Schools – $5,000 Grant

The school is currently in the beginning stages of developing a STEM lab and plans to use the Great Plains Communications funds to purchase equipment such as a 3D printer and filaments, Dash and Dot robots and accessories. These devices will provide Riverside students with hands-on opportunities to create solutions to real-world problems and will provide an alternative to traditional learning protocols.

Along with the grant, Riverside Public Schools teacher, Julie Rankin was awarded the 2019 Outstanding Teacher of the Year accompanied by a check for $5,000. Throughout her career, which began in 1993, Rankin has shown tireless dedication as a teacher of multiple academic subjects for 5th and 6th-grade students for Spalding Public and Riverside Public Schools. When asked to describe the rewards she finds in teaching, Ms. Rankin answered, “One of the greatest rewards is teaching students to believe in themselves and the ability to persevere when things become difficult. Seeing the excitement on their faces when they finally understand a difficult concept or task is priceless to me. I absolutely love finding ways to teach a child new things.”

Help us in congratulation all of our grant winners, as well as Julie Rankin, our 2019 Outstanding Teacher of the Year!

Congrats to our 2017 Grant Recipients!

Each year, Great Plains Communications is proud and honored for the chance to support our communities through our “Commitment to our Schools” program. This year we were able to present four grants totaling just under $20,000. We would like to take this time to again to congratulate all our 2017 grant recipients:

Neligh-Oakdale Schools – $3,800 Grant

The funds will be used towards continuing the integration of technology into the schools, by allowing them to purchase additional iPads for the 3rd grade glasses to bring it to 1:1 ratio of student per iPad. This will allow decrease wasted time while students were waiting to use these resources for testing, projects and hands-on discovery learning.

 

Tekamah-Herman Elementary – $5,000 Grant

The school plans to use the money to purchase iPads to be used in the classrooms during math and reading stations. This will allow the students to practice their math facts and take reading quizzes.

 

Gordon Elementary School – $5,000 Grant

The school plans to use the funds toward an Introduction to Programming-Robotics in the Classroom project for the 4th and 5th grade. “Introduction to Programming provides a structured sequence of programming activities in real-world project-based contexts,” Principal, Mr. Casey Slama explained in the application. “The projects are designed to get students thinking about the patterns and structure of not just robotics, but also programming and problem-solving more generally.”

 

Wausa Public School – $5,000 Grant

Focusing not only on the school, but community learning as well, the school plans to use the grant towards Graphic Arts and Advertising Programs. In steps to help students possess real life knowledge of the business and advertising world, they are looking to purchase a high-quality color printer with a 40 in laminator. This would allow the students to work on advertising projects for local businesses, teaching them about deadlines and responsibility.

 

Help us in congratulating our 2017 grant recipients!

Outstanding Teacher Award Winner!

Great Plains Communications is proud to announce the winner of our 2016 Outstanding Teacher Award as Dawn Friedrich, of Wausa Public Schools! As a surprise to her, the presentation was on April 27 at the school, as Great Plains Communications District Manager, Doug Ptacnik and Broadband Technician, Michael Nipp presented her with a trophy and check for $5,000.

Friedrich has been a teacher for 29 years, with 19 of those being at Wausa Public Schools. She is involved in her community, professional education associations and has won numerous awards in her area of teaching. “Dawn is a leader in the classroom as well as within the faculty and community,“ said Superintendent, Robert Marks. “She runs one of the most successful FBLA programs in the State of Nebraska, winning awards at the student level as well as the chapter level year after year. It is hard to sum up in one page Mrs. Friedrich’s involvement in Business Education, her professional activities and her involvement in the community.”

This award is part of the Great Plains Communications “Commitment to our Schools” program which provides nearly $35,000 annually to schools and students in the form of grants and scholarships. We are excited to get to help schools across Nebraska and are honored to recognize the exceptional teachers we have. Help us in congratulating Dawn Friedrich for receiving the Outstanding Teacher Award!

Congratulations 2015 Grant Recipients

Each year, Great Plains Communications is proud and honored for the chance to support our communities through our “Commitment to our Schools” program. This year we were able to present five grants totaling over $20,000. We would like to take this time to again congratulate all of our 2015 grant recipients:

–          Callaway Public Schools – $5,000 Grant

The school plans to use the money towards purchasing equipment for what they call “The Cube” broadcasting system. “The Cube” system will be used to broadcast programs and events throughout different areas of Callaway High School.

–          Chadron Intermediate School – $5,000 Grant

The school plans to use the money toward their long time plans of purchasing a 3D printer.

–          Hayes Center High School – Ann Fornoff  – $4,000 Grant

As a surprise to Ann Fornoff, she was awarded the 2015 Outstanding Teacher of the Year. Throughout her career, Fornoff has shown tireless dedication as an English teacher, advisor, mentor and advocate for students of Hayes Center High School. She believes in going above and beyond for her students, offering extra help and advice to help them succeed.

–           Spalding Academy – $5,000 Grant

The school plans to use the money toward integrating Science and Math with Technology for their students, to enhance the STEM curriculum. By purchasing sensors, Chromebooks, usb links, software program site licenses and miscellaneous supplies for student training and challenges, they believe this grant will help them reach their goal.

–          Niobrara Public Schools – $4,700 Grant

The school plans to use the money toward their “Project IF”, which is their plan in looking for ways to have their students learn through an “individual format” and receive “immediate feedback” on skills in the area of mathematics. With the grant, the schools will be able to purchase two 10-packs of iPad minis 16GB with Wi-Fi. This purchase will give the students and staff a huge step forward in reaching their goals through “Project IF”.

 

Help us in congratulating our 2015 grant recipients!

Get Your School Project Rolling!

Does your school have an amazing idea but lacks the funds to make it happen?  Then you need to apply for a Great Plains Communications grant!  Each year, we give up to $20,000 in grants to schools throughout the communities that we serve. The grant can be used for nearly any project as long as it improves learning.

Past awards have varied from arts projects, to hard science initiatives, to language programs.  Our grants have funded two student-run businesses that have executed state and nationwide projects!  We have helped a school to bring their theater back to its former glory and have funded an aquaponics lab.  Several schools have used the funds to increase technology by building iPad labs and adding Smartboards in the classroom.

There are only about six more weeks until the program stops taking applications (March 1st), so get started now!   You can download the application and find out more on our website.  To view other projects, click here.

Help Spread the Word: We’re Giving up to $35,000 to Schools and Students!

We’re gearing up for our annual grants and scholarships programs that provide nearly $35,000 to schools and students in the communities that we serve.

In 2012, our grant winners purchased iPads, educational software and SmartBoards.  We also helped Red Cloud revitalize their arts program, which affects programs from band, to choir, to the theatre department. Over the years, we’ve helped fund amazing projects such as an Aqua Phonics labs and award-winning language programs.  We’ve also funded two student-run sign making businesses, which has earned statewide accounts.

Scholarship winners are just as diverse and include students who pursue degrees from technical schools to four-year universities.  There are scholarships for those who pursue online education and students who seek a more traditional learning environment.  No matter what a student’s learning style or goal, Great Plains Communications has an option to help.  The one similarity shared by our winners is their rural heritage and desire to return to those communities after college.

If you know of a school with a great idea or an outstanding student who can use some help with college (and who doesn’t), visit www.gpcom.com/about/scholarships for a full list of available scholarships and grants.  You’ll also find application forms and deadlines.

If you would like to see some past winners, click here!

Grant Spotlight: Red Cloud Community Schools

We’re spotlighting our 3rd grant winner of 2012!   Red Cloud Community Schools is a great example of a school with a big idea that will help countless students immediately and for years to come.

Red Cloud Community Schools is currently in the process of strengthening the arts in regards to the schools’ curriculum.  The funds will be used to purchase new stage curtains, which the schools believe will take multiple programs to the next level. The district is also planning to update the theater’s lighting fixtures, paint, and sound system.

The schools’ choir, band, drama and speech programs will all benefit from the updates. According to Americans for the Arts, these programs have many proven benefits including increased cognitive skills, increased creativity, and enhanced social skills.

Grant Spotlight: Dodge Public School

We’re spotlighting another 2012 grant winner!  This time it’s Dodge Public School, who was awarded a $5,000 grant from our “Commitment to the Schools” program.

The funds will be used to purchase iPads that will be used by students in Kindergarten through 12th grade.  While the iPads will be used by students of all learning levels, those with learning disabilities will receive additional focus with the new technology.

The school has made the new iPad project a key part of its initiative to raise test scores, particularly in the area of math, science, reading and writing. The focus will help the school to meet its School Improvement Plan Goals and state requirements for student achievement.

If you missed it, check out another great program from Cody-Kilgore, a fellow grant winner.

Grant Spotlight: Cody-Kilgore High School

 

It’s that time of year again!  The time when we share the winners of our annual grant program, which provides up to $20,000 dollars worth of aid to programs from schools in the communities we serve.

Our first grant spotlight this year is Cody-Kilgore High School, which received a grant worth over $4,500 dollars from out “Commitment to the Schools” program!

The school will purchase two Mobi Mobile Interactive Whiteboards, which turns any whiteboard into an interactive learning center. The system is easily portable meaning that several classrooms will be able to take advantage of the technology. The grant will also be used to purchase 32 CPS response systems, which allows students to tailor the learning environment to their level of need.

The new system will be used by multiple departments including mathematics and English.  The new technology joins several other cutting-edge initiatives at Cody-Kilgore High School. The school is a 1:1 school for 7-12 grade students. This means that each student receives a laptop for educational purposes. The school also has an entrepreneurship program that is launching a student-run grocery store.

Does your school have a great idea?  It’s never too early to think about a grant submission for next year!

We’re Providing $50,000 to Schools and Students!

As you may know our annual grants and scholarships programs provide nearly $50,000 to schools and students in the communities that we serve.

In 2011, grant winners purchased iPad labs, educational software and SmartBoards.  We also helped to support our second student-run sign making business, which teaches students accounting and leadership in addition to technical skills, by providing funds for a plasma torch. Over the years, we’ve helped fund amazing projects such as an Aquaponics labs and award-winning language programs.

Scholarship winners are just as diverse and include students who pursue degrees from technical schools to four-year universities.  There are scholarships for those who pursue online education and students who seek a more traditional learning environment.  No matter what a student’s learning style or goal, Great Plains Communications has an option to help.  The one similarity shared by our winners is their rural heritage and desire to return to those communities after college.

If you know of a school with a great idea or an outstanding student who can use some help with college (and who doesn’t), visit www.gpcom.com/about/scholarships for a full list of available scholarships and grants.  You’ll also find application forms and deadlines.

If you would like to see some past winners, click here!

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