Forward Together Grant Program

Forward Together

2019 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. 


Congratulations To The 2019 Forward Together Award Winners!

WEA Trust hosted the 6th 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: Kira Morrissey and Megan Lassa from the School District of Iola-Scandinavia, Tracy Bartels of Chilton Public Schools and Mary Thompson of Neenah Joint School District.

School Distric of Iola-Scandinavia

Kira Morrissey and Megan Lassa will use the Forward Together award to fund the restoration of their school greenhouse. Once functional, the greenhouse will be integrated into multiple areas-from a worm farm to growing fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers.

"We believe that a school greenhouse has many benefits," wrote Morrissey and Lassa in their proposal. "This passion project grant would allow us to make it a functional learning space."

They expanded, "Finally, it's just plain fun. Nothing like finding yourself covered in diret, laughing, learning and eventually munching on the fruits of your labor!"


Chilton Public Schools

Tracy Bartels proposed the "Trout in the Classroom Aquaponics project" to take their current Trout in the Classroom (TIC) program to the next level by assisting with the purchasing of a scientifically engineered aquaponics system. Aquaponics combines aquaculture, the raising of fish and hydroponics-growing plants without soil- in one integrated system.

"The mission of the TIC has been to successfully raise the brown trout, so the plants haven't been an emphasis on our program," wrote Bartels. "With this project, students will actively participate in the planting, monitoring and harvesting of the vegetables."

All Chilton High School sophomores in Biology will benefits from the TIC program.


Neenah Joint School District

The 2019 grant will help fund Mary Thompson's summer backpack program at Lakeview Elementary. Funds will be used to purchase additional books, graphic novels, books based on student choice and replacement backpacks.

"I'm setting up these at-risk students to be able to experience a high volume of success in their reading during the summer months," wrote Thompson. "My drive to help each student experience this type of success outside of the school setting not only impacts them in a positive way, but my school as well. It's work that I"m proud and passionate about."

Thompson first launched the backpack program in the summer of 2015.


Congratulations to the top 25 honorable mentions!

  • Alicia Bethke
  • Beth Smith
  • Brett Stousland
  • Cyndi Nelson
  • Elizabeth Jorgensen
  • Emily Bennett
  • Erin Schultz
  • James Arneson
  • Jennifer Otto
  • Kate Garman
  • Kayla Wegner
  • Kerry Janquart
  • Landon Lawson
  • Laury Nelson
  • Lori Marini
  • Lou Ann Daniels
  • Matt Wenthe
  • Nicole Paulus
  • Rachel E. Burkel
  • Stephanie Fox
  • Theresa Wheeler
  • Valerie Pumala

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