Laura Krause’s kindergarten class in Chandler is getting froggy this year. The Hartford Elementary School students will watch tadpoles grow into frogs in their own classroom frog habitat.
They’ll learn all about the amphibians through froggy fiction and nonfiction books, and they’ll write about and draw the sticky-tongued animals in their own froggy journals.
"We’re excited," Krause said. "My kids are asking, ‘Do we get the frogs today?’ "
Krause’s Planet Frog project will be funded by one of 101 grants awarded this week by the Chandler Education Foundation, a fundraising partner for the Chandler Unified School District that helps provide money for scholarships and programs that wouldn’t otherwise be funded.
The foundation’s prize patrol was out in full force Tuesday, surprising teachers and students with the grants. Glenna McCollum-Cloud, the foundation’s director, said they delivered the awards in a Publisher’s Clearinghouse style, complete with horns, balloons and big checks.
"It gets more exciting each year because the prize patrol has added much more of an awareness," McCollum-Cloud said. "We have great community support."
This year, the foundation reached its goal of collecting $60,000 from the community in the 100 Percent Awareness Campaign. The campaign’s goal, which began in 1986, is for every family and employee in the district to donate at least $1, said E.J. Anderson, a foundation team leader.
"Teachers are recognized and awarded because of their hard work and their effort," Anderson said. "It’s the neatest thing to see the teachers recognized. There’s just a lot of positive energy."
A committee chooses the winning grants from teachers who applied for either $150 individually or $300 for a group of teachers. Each school’s principal also receives $500 to use in benefiting students, Anderson said.
New teachers in the district who applied for grants to set up their own classrooms can also receive $100 for grades 7 to 12 and $200 for kindergarten through sixth grade.
Something for everyone
A smattering of the 101 grants handed out this year by the Chandler Education Foundation:
• Special effects cameras for Chandler High School photography students
• A program for San Marcos Elementary School first-graders that teaches struggling students how to read through singing
• Kits for Weinberg Elementary School third-graders to make volcano models and study geology
• A new habitat for two desert tortoises that live at Tarwater Elementary School
• "The Stranger" mock trial kit for English students at Basha High School. Students create costumes and props and are assigned roles for which they must research and prepare in a mock murder trial of Mersault, the novel’s protagonist.
• Cactus dissection kit for Bologna Elementary School fourth-graders.
To learn more
For information on the Chandler Education Foundation, call (480) 812-7631 or visit