Funded Projects

Go direct probeware

Madi Ramaekers – Marion High School
New science lab equipment impacts students across 9 different science courses, allowing them to collect and analyze data in real-time using grant-funded probes and sensors that feed to an app on their district-issued Chromebooks.

archery in schools

Elli Netolicky – Vernon Middle School
Grant funds supported the purchase of new archery equipment including bows, arrows, and targets to be used by 6th, 7th and 8th grade PE students and the Vernon Middle School Archery Club.

tig welder

Dennis Fleege – Marion High School
As interest in the industrial tech program grows, a second TIG welder was needed for students enrolled in Metals 2 and the Kirkwood Welding Certification course at Marion High School.

Imagination library

Cheryl Kiburz – Friends of the Marion Public Library
Nicole Harmer – Longfellow Elementary
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a book program that gifts high-quality, age-appropriate books to Marion children. This is a second investment in this program that was brought to Marion by FMPL in 2019 with support from the Marion Independent School Foundation. Enrollment is free for all children ages 0-5 who live in the 52302 zip code.

MISD Summer Institute

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


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.

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.

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.

band folders

Logan Vander Wiel – Marion High School
Band students now have quality folders to hold their sheet music with a spot for those easy-to-misplace pencils, adding professionalism to the program.

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 were 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 were available to Vernon Middle School and Marion Home School students attending the camp for Summer 2021.