Funded Projects


Liz Pearson – Marion High School
High schools students have access to a variety of new e-books and audiobooks from MackinVia. Digital book access is available to students via their district-provided Chromebooks helping students to read, research and learn at school and at home.

graphing calculators

Roxanne Paulsen & Carrie Johnson – Marion High School
Grant funding purchased 150 TI-84 graphing calculators and charging stations for students taking math courses. Having these calculators available in class removes a cost barrier to students who are working on core math skills.

my music packs

Amanda Freese – Francis Marion Intermediate
Every student at FMI received a personal music kit that includes drum sticks, a shaker egg and scarf, allowing them to explore music without sharing equipment. This project creates safe music making experiences while reducing the time and cost of sanitizing common equipment.

raku kiln

Josh Gerber – Marion High School
Art teacher Josh Gerber is bringing a new ceramics process to MISD by building a Raku kiln that will fire student-made ceramic art. High school students will learn about the origin of Raku and create their own pieces, and then teach students at other grade levels, guiding them in creating their own ceramic art.

think spots

Becky Gustafson & Jamie Shields – Francis Marion Intermediate
Think Spots provide students a place to calm down and regroup while remaining in the classroom. Think Spot tools including stress balls and puzzles were added to 23 FMI classrooms.

music ipads

Jonathan Dyrland & Logan Vander Wiel – Marion High School
iPad Pros allow MHS band and choir directors to view, share and store music, videos and more. This project dramatically improves the speed and efficiency of music content delivered through a digital platform to students.

College for Kids Scholarships

Susie Green – Grant Wood Area Education Agency
Grant Wood AEA’s College for Kids is a summer program offering advanced level academic and fine arts courses in the college setting to eligible talented and gifted students who have completed 6th, 7th, or 8th grade.  Through the College for Kids experience, students are offered advanced or specialized curricula, and have the opportunity to further explore a hobby or a topic of interest not typically available in middle school general education.  Scholarships are available to eligible Vernon Middle School and Marion Home School students for Summer 2021.

jacobson institute entrepreneurial summer camp

Dawn Bowlus – Jacobson Institute & Phil Cochran – Vernon Middle School
The University of Iowa Jacobson Institute holds camps across Iowa, including Marion, for students entering Grades 5-8 to learn entrepreneurial skills through teamwork, product development, marketing and sales. Scholarships are available to Vernon Middle School and Marion Home School students attending the camp for Summer 2021.

LoCoDrone Curriculum

Heath Mueller – Vernon Middle School
With the new Loco Drone curriculum, 8th grade students will have the opportunity to combine their learned middle school technology skills of hardware and coding, working with a partner to build and fly their own drone.


Health and Wellness Team – Marion Independent School District
Grant funding will support the initial subscription fee and two pilot years of the FitnessGram software for all schools, helping wellness programs further support student fitness and promote healthy habits that will last well into the future.

Robotics Upgrades

Chris Martin – Marion High School
The Robotics Club received grant funds to purchase updated electronics systems, connecting student members to the materials they need while they learn technical skills, creativity and teamwork.

MISD Summer Institute

Instructional Coaches – Marion Independent School District
Grant funding will support raffle giveaways at the MISD Summer Institute (postponed to 2021). Prizes will relate to the learning topics covered during staff professional development sessions and are for classroom use.

Social Skills Library

Dixie Recker – Starry Elementary
The library and counseling office at Starry received funding to purchase an assortment of books that relate to social-emotional learning topics.

Xylophone Stand

Lauren Cutler – Longfellow Elementary
A height-adjustable stand on wheels will be added to the Longfellow music room xylophone, meeting the needs of students with disabilities and those of varying heights.