Classroom Grants

The Classroom Grants program is our largest allocation. Teachers submit applications for funds in September for projects that will directly benefit students through innovative and creative teaching methods. Granted funds are awarded in early November. This is such an exciting time for WEF, knowing that the money given directly impacts students and typically provides benefits for many years.

The 2021-2022 Classroom Grant Online Application is now open!

Application deadline: Friday, October 15, 2021 at 5:00pm.

Apply Now!

Questions can be directed to Allocations Chair, Erika Hudspeth at

Our teachers are redefining innovative classroom strategies and we are committed to supporting their bold new ideas.

2020-2021 Classroom Grant Recipients

Erin Ellington of Mabel and Parkway Schools for “Let’s Play Percussion.” This grant will fund the purchase of percussion instruments that will provide students access to high-quality, safe learning tools during the pandemic (and beyond), while continuing to offer a sense of togetherness and community through music.

Candice Trexler of Watauga County Schools will purchase needed titles for Battle of the Books, a team-based reading competition for students at all schools in the county, grades 4th-12th, for Elementary, Middle, and High School Battle of the Books

Anne Donadio and Scott Carter (Principal) from Cove Creek School for the “Reading and Writing Workshop Project” that will fund the purchase of fundamental reading and writing units for classrooms as well as staff development for teachers in grades K-3. 

Donna Raichle and Grady McKinney of Parkway School for “Let’s Get Bouncing!”, which will use grant funds to purchase size-appropriate basketballs for grades K-5, which will allow students to be more successful in this part of the required PE curriculum.

Benjamin Brown and Libby Rose from Cove Creek School for the “Plant and Animal Life Cycles Collaboration Project.” Collaboration between a 2nd grade class and Middle School Agriculture Program will allow young students to see, feel and compare different plant and animal life cycles, while older students will hone leadership, responsibility and communication skills through interactions with these younger students.

Erik Mortensen from Watauga High School for Continuing Automotive Upgrades that will keep this program’s inventory current with the latest technology to ensure students will enter the workforce or post-secondary institution with the skills necessary to succeed.

Jake Orange and Angela Bland of Hardin Park School for “Going from Good to Great:  Redefining HP Schoolwide Expectations.” This schoolwide project, initiated by the Behavior Framework Committee, will provide curriculum and visual aids that will educate and reinforce behavior expectations for all students.

Dinah Miller of Watauga High School will use funding to purchase a Robotics Field Kit and Game Set to improve preparation, accuracy and performance in the FIRST Robotics competition and recruit Robotics Club members.

Jennifer Lambert of Cove Creek School for “Taking Science Home.” Funds will be used to purchase Force and Motion Activity Tubs and magnetic wands that will allow Watauga Virtual Academy students the opportunity to experience hands-on activities while learning physical science concepts.

Jeff Stone of Watauga County Schools for the project “Matman Supporting Pre-literacy and Fine Motor Skill Development,” by providing materials and curriculum to each preschool in the county that will support early literacy for children with fine motor and cognitive delays.

Kimberly Dunnagan of Bethel School for “With your help ‘Eye’ am looking forward to a great Y’ear’!” Funds will be used to purchase 3D models of human ears and eyes that can be taken apart and held, giving students a better understanding of these unseen parts of their bodies.

Lindsay Jackson of Parkway School for “The Science of Reading.” Non-fiction science and social studies texts with rich vocabulary and text features will be purchased and used to meet the need of teaching reading through context.

Lindsey Gough of Cove Creek School for “Active Calming Center,” that will help implement the conscious discipline curriculum by providing resources that offer specific mental and physical tasks and allowing teachers to give students strategies to regulate their emotions so they can be in the best state to learn and achieve success

Chris Tarnowski from Watauga High School for the “Graphic Novel Shakespeare” project, to purchase the graphic novel publication of Macbeth, that ties the images of the action with the words on the page and will help students gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the material.

Kirby Bell and Carly Mize of Green Valley School for “Books in the Wild.” Grant funds will purchase books and materials to integrate science standards and instill a love of reading while sparking students’ interest with hands-on activities that pair with the text.

Mac Taylor from Watauga High School for the project “Engineering Your Future,” that will furnish new technology equipment to the Drafting department, providing students the opportunity to experience industry-related manufacturing skills that they could use in a future career.

Hayley Bayne of Watauga County for “Schools Brain Games for the Extended Learning Center.” With this grant, children in Watauga Schools Day Camp, After School, and Holiday Snow Day programs, will have access to a variety of thinking games, trick puzzles and other activities that will encourage students to use enrichment time to engage in cognitively stimulating activities. 

Amy Atkins and Holly Klein of Hardin Park School for “Fresh Out of the Box Science,” a project that will transform an underutilized courtyard into an outdoor learning environment for instruction and dynamic learning opportunities for middle school students.

Chelsie Eldreth and Lindsey Postlethwait of Bethel and Valle Crucis Schools for “Kindness Rocks!” Funds will be used to purchase materials for students, faculty and staff to participate in the creation of school-wide kindness painted rock gardens that promote unity, school pride and coming together for the common good.

Genal West from Watauga High School for “Art for All,” With this grant, technical equipment will be upgraded to create a virtual/hybrid art room that would aid in the ability for the art curriculum to reach all students. This project will allow greater flexibility and access to art classes for Watauga Virtual Academy students, as well as other students who face scheduling challenges due to health issues or other activities.

Sue Walker and Lara Whiteside from Blowing Rock School for “STEM Strong.” This project will use funds to purchase STEM kits that will engage 3rd grade students in integrated hands-on activities that encourage exploration and critical thinking.

Angela Bland from Hardin Park School for “Whiteboard Learning,” which will fund the purchase of whiteboards that will allow students to share work and ideas from a safe distance, helping build an encouraging learning environment through distanced collaboration, peer feedback and modeling.

Nicholas Westveer and Pace Cooper of Mabel School for “Starting Mabel School Science Olympiad.” Funding will be used to provide instructional and hands-on materials for the Science Olympiad Club for K-8 students that will foster collaboration, research and intellectual and practical skills.

Sue Wells, Karla Lerner and Savannah Bakken of Watauga County Schools for “ A Box of Fun: Developmental Learning Kits for Pre-K.” Grant funds will purchase materials for learning kits that will be used to support the developmental needs of children ages 3-6 in NC Pre-K settings, at home or in private settings. This project will help pre-K students meet their individualized educational goals while encouraging play, social interaction and language development.