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Forward Together Grant Program

Forward Together

2018 Forward Together Award

At WEA Trust, we recognize that some of the best ideas in Wisconsin’s schools go unnoticed and unfunded. That’s why we’re giving three $3,000 grants to support school projects. Your innovation deserves celebration. 

What’s your vision or passion project? Tell us how you will drive it forward for your chance to win. 

Entry for the 2018 Forward Together Award is now closed. The judging summit will occur in February and winners will be announced no later than the beginning of March.

Congratulations to the 2017 Forward Together Award Winners!

WEA Trust hosted the 4th annual Forward Together Award this past January. More than 100 school districts in Wisconsin submitted a project to fund their cutting-edge ideas. Thanks to everyone who applied, your motivation and dedication is inspiring.

This year's winners included: Leanna Cernohouse and Deb Barton of Alma Center-Humbird-Merrillan School District for hydroponic towers that will increase the availability of fresh greens for the district, Thea Hempel and Andy Lorenzen of Lake Holcombe School District for an online store where students can sell items that they make in their various classes and Cyndi Nelson of Lake Geneva Schools for a large motor skills area for 4K students.

Alma Center-Humbird-Merrillan School District

Cernohouse and Barton will use the 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," wrote Cernohouse and Barton 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."

Lake Holcombe School District

Thea Hempel and Andy Lorenzen will use the grant for an online store where students can sell items that they make in their various technical education classes. This project will be a part of an Entrepreneurship course and in turn promote the school's STEM Program.

"Given the rural location, students are offered little opportunity or exposure to entrepreneurial businesses beyond tourism, hospitality and agricultural," Forward Together Award winners Hempel and Lorenzen wrote in their proposal. "A course would be offered that teaches students not only hands-on skills related to woodworking, tool-use and construction to create tangible products, but also how to bring them to market in an online format while learning marketing, pricing and logistics."


Lake Geneva Schools

Nelson will use the Forward Together Award to purchase resources to support a large motor skills area. With new materials like jumbo trikes, sensory mats and balance beams, students will increase the strength of their gross and fine motor skills while also encouraging students to be active.

"We as teachers, are seeing a decrease in these abilities along with difficulties in fine motor skills," Forward Together Award winner Nelson wrote in  her proposal. "This is especially important when it comes to our 4-year-old kindergarten students. Studies have show students with strong gross and motor skills are more productive and attentive."


Honorable Mentions

We'd like to give special recognition to the other top 2017 Forward Together projects. Thank you for your vision, passion, and drive!

  • Barbara Olson and Shannon Chute, Hillsboro School District

  • Beth Thayer, Hillsboro School District

  • Brooke Lueck, Bangor School District

  • Cassandra Leckwee, Lodi School District

  • Christina Martello, West Allis West Milwaukee School District

  • Debbie Groth, West Allis West Milwaukee School District

  • Delaine Stendahl, Whitehall School District

  • Emily Walsh, West Allis West Milwaukee School District

  • Jamie Gates, Hillsboro School District

  • Jamie Propson, Mishicot School District

  • Jonathan Awe, Freedom Area School District

  • Kayle Raduenz, West Allis West Milwaukee School District

  • Laura Miller, Arrowhead Union School District

  • Mark Gruen, Royall School District

  • Mike Lyon, Stone Bank School District

  • Natalie Anderson, Mondovi School District

  • Ryan Rutz, West Allis West Milwaukee School District

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