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WEA Trust Fosters Collaboration and Healthy Choices

Alma Center-Humbird-Merrillan Teachers Win $3,000 Award for Food Service Enhancements

ALMA CENTER, Wisconsin – As part of the 4th Annual Forward Together Award, WEA Trust awarded Leanna Cernohouse and Deb Barton of Alma Center-Humbird-Merrillan School District a $3,000 grant for their hydroponic towers proposal. The award will not only increase the availability of fresh greens for the school district but also teach students about planting, harvesting and consumption.

“We were so impressed by the vision, passion and drive of this year’s winners,” said Jon Klett, WEA Trust’s Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Product Development. “Every year I look forward to reading all of the proposals. I’m thrilled that we can back a grant program that supports teachers’ love of teaching.”

Cernohouse and Barton will use the $3,000 Forward Together Award to purchase the hydroponic towers, dollies, seeds, grow light kits, and cage supports. The Agricultural Education Department will oversee construction and maintenance with additional support from both the FFA and the Food Service Department for planting and harvesting.

“This project has the potential to have a large impact on our district by not only teaching cultivation and healthy eating skills, but also supporting the morale of the student body,” Forward Together Award winner Cernohouse and Barton wrote in their proposal. “Students will generate a vested interest in plants, consumption of various plants, and likely a healthy lifestyle as a result of this project.”

WEA Trust created the Forward Together Award to recognize and reward innovation in Wisconsin’s schools. Over the past four years, WEA Trust has granted more than $35,000 to support individual educators’ school projects. This January, WEA Trust received over 100 project proposals. Educators from Lake Holcombe School District and Lake Geneva Schools also won Forward Together Awards this year.

The project proposals were reviewed by a panel of judges made up of a past Forward Together Award winner, the State Superintendent’s office and Wisconsin Association of Schools Boards.

The WEA Trust provides group health insurance and administrative services to public employers throughout Wisconsin. The not-for-profit WEA Trust was created in 1970 to serve Wisconsin school district employees. Today, the WEA Trust offers its top-rated service and quality benefits to all state, county, and municipal groups.