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.

Apply Now!

Deadline to submit applications is Friday, October 14, 2022 at 5:00pm.

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.

2021-2022 Classroom Grant Recipients

Amanda Storey will purchase Preschool EC Adaptive Technology for use at Bethel, Blowing Rock, Green Valley and Hardin Park Schools. These technologies once implemented will provide regulation strategies, a better understanding of cause and effect and sensory integration for preschool children with severe needs in general education settings.

Suzanne Livesay of Bethel and Valle Crucis Schools for “All About the Bass,” will purchase Orff instruments to be used by K-5 Music classes at both schools to create Orff ensemble experiences and explore the concepts of music – rhythm, melody, form, expression, harmony, and timbre – through the musical skills of singing, moving, playing instruments, listening, creating, and speaking.

LeAnne Hilderbran and Lindsey Postlethwait of Bethel School for “Learning Outside, but within the ‘Walls,’” to modify and outfit an existing learning space to increase its usability and enhance its aesthetic appeal. These updates, as well as the installation of a schoolwide sculpture, will bring positive energy, new life, and longevity to the space.

Jennifer Brown from Green Valley School for “Models Make it Real!” will use grant funds to purchase scientific models (human eye and ear; sun, moon and earth, etc) that would give 6th grade students a deeper understanding of this science content as they are able to see and touch these visual representations of what they are learning. These models would also be available school-wide to other teachers for use with their science instruction.

Christy Welch of Mabel School for “4th Grade Post-Secondary Success Fair.” This project will address the need for students to become more knowledgeable about the options available to them after high school, including community college, 4-year college, military and certificate programs, and to share what they’ve learned with other students and parents.

“Sensory Tools for Students on the Autism Spectrum” will allow Brittany Gotherman of Hardin Park School to purchase sensory tools for her self-contained classroom which address the unique and diverse, emotional and functional needs of students on the autism spectrum.

Sarah Miller and Zach Walker for “Tags for Togs,” to implement a professional-grade costume inventory system that will allow the Watauga High School Theatre Department to plan more efficiently for production purchases, develop a costume rental system that can help generate income for their program, and teach students 21st century skills that they can use well beyond graduation.

Maura Miller of Bethel School will use funds for “Grow Flowers Of Science With STEM” to purchase reusable STEM experiments that will address all 3rd grade science standards in creative and engaging ways, create opportunities for collaboration with other teachers, and spark a love for learning.

Corrie Freeman and Emily Rothrock of Hardin Park School will batten down the hatches and provide their kids with a “Pirate Day” experience of a lifetime! “Ahoy There Mateys!” grant funds will be used to purchase historical texts that support social studies and language arts curriculum, and materials to shape up the deck and immerse students in pirate culture.

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

Laura Keys and Stephanie Ballance of Valle Crucis School for “The Empowerment Library,” which will purchase a variety of high interest, low level (HI-LO) books to build a strong library with a wide variety of topics for EC and ELL students, empowering reluctant readers and helping them to build reading confidence.

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.

Ashley Tate from Green Valley and Mabel Schools for “Adaptive Tools for More Inclusive Visual Art Classes.” Grant funds will purchase tools and materials necessary for differentiation of art lessons to reach the diverse needs of all students. This project will help to adapt art lessons for all types of learners, fostering a sense of inclusivity, so every child can have an enriching experience exploring the world of visual art.

Michele Nichols from Mabel School for “Games Are So Much More Than Play.” Grant funds will help purchase games for students Pre-K through 8th grade to re-learn basic social-emotional skills and communication skills that may have been lost during virtual learning. Games will be centered around taking turns, team building, routine expectations, & peer interaction while also igniting conversation & expanding vocabulary in spontaneous fashing.

Megan Kilby from Hardin Park School for “Embracing Diversity.” Grant funds will be used to purchase toys, books, puzzles, & flash cards that represent diversity and inclusion to provide students with positive representations of themself and others who they share the world with. Materials will be incorporated into lesson plans throughout the year and inspire students to imagine beyond their individual worlds.

Brenda Blalock of Mabel School to purchase “New Books to Build Proficient Readers.” Grant funds will be used to purchase newer, more up-to-date reading materials to focus on reading accuracy, comprehension, and fluency. The two sets will include 18 leveled books each, along with a classroom starter pack, Teacher’s guide, and test evidence questions for the reading specialist.

Angela Alexander and Tori Loftin of Watauga High School “Glowing Beauty.” Grant funds will purchase esthetics equipment to provide hand-on learning spa facial learning opportunities for students that want to pursue careers as an esthetician or a medical esthetician. Equipment will show how treatments can positively affect the skin over time and also the negative effects of sun damage.

Anna Voida of Watauga High School for the “Pioneers Read 180” project. Grant funds will be used for a motivational reading program for EC students that also focuses on the development and improvement of reading and writing skills. Each student will have their own book, aimed at improving skills and increasing confidence in their abilities.

Carol Critcher of Blowing Rock School for the “Book Tasting Cafe: A Taste of Socio-Emotional Books to Promote Well-Being.” Funds will be used to purchase social and emotional skills themed picture books to develop skills around dealing with life’s big emotions and challenges. The resources will be made available to all the teachers and serve as a starting point for discussions when big emotions and challenges surface.

Heather Padilla Seaton of Hardin Park School for “Get Ready. Get Set. Go!” Grant funds will be used to purchase a Mango Math Group Pre-Algebra Kit and Outstanding Math Guide with foldables and hand-helds. Materials will promote student based learning through use of tangible items and games.

Hope Combs of Cove Creek School with “Reaching Reading Needs with Fundamentals.” Grant funds will be used to purchase Fundamentals leveled book sets for independent reading, intervention lessons and writing assignments to meet their individual needs. Students will have access to on-level independent reading books to promote self-efficacy and motivation.

Genal West of Watauga High School for “Color to Dye For & Spin Me Right ‘Round.” Grant funds will build on the Appalachian Arts Revival by adding a spinning wheel and dye garden to the Watauga High School art room. The project will allow students to see the full process of creation: planting, growing, harvesting to dying fibers, spinning into yarn, and using the yarn in weaving projects.

Megan Laws, Kristina Shableski, Brianna Swartz, and Alex Seymour for “Cracking the Code to Reading – Decodable Readers.” The grant funds will be used to purchase small group sets of decodable readers and items for hands-on phonics instruction for use in the four first grade classrooms at Parkway School. The project will provide students with high quality materials to practice reading skills to achieve growth and gain confidence through evidence-based ways aligned with the science of reading.