PMEF awards teachers $50,000 worth of Venture Grants


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Penn Manor students will be building toys for a pediatric hospital, planting a vegetable garden at their school and using computer programs to help hone their violin playing skills, thanks to Venture Grants awarded this month by Penn Manor Education Foundation.

PMEF has awarded 52 grants totaling nearly $50,000 – both record numbers this year – ranging from $38 for plant mazes for second-graders at Central Manor Elementary School to $4,800 for toolboxes for Penn Manor High School Agricultural Mechanics students.

In between are grants for books, news magazines, light tables, field trips, digital photography equipment, therapeutic games and mindfulness training sessions.

Several classroom teachers and librarians will use their money to purchase “breakout boxes” – collections of locks, boxes and clues that challenge students to collaborate and use critical thinking to solve hundreds of different puzzles.

Other teachers received grants to make their classrooms more appealing to restless learners by adding new seating options – including camp chairs, yoga mats and exercise balls. Manor Middle School received a $2,000 grant for training a therapy dog, Wrangler, to help calm students in distress.

And the district’s counseling department received a $2,500 grant to implement mental health training programs.

In all, the grants will enhance the school climate and learning experience for hundreds of students at all 10 Penn Manor schools.

“The fact that we have had the highest number of applicants indicates that innovation and collaboration among our staff continues to grow,” said Anne Kinderwater Carroll, PMEF executive director. “To be able to finance these projects is a credit to our amazing base of supporters.”

Since 2000, the Education Foundation has awarded more than 750 Teacher Venture Grants totaling nearly $800,000.

In addition to its grant program, PMEF supports Penn Manor students and families experiencing financial and emotional difficulties through its Strong & Healthy Families initiative. The Foundation also administers more than 45 annual scholarships for graduating Penn Manor High School seniors.

A full list of approved Venture Grants for 2017-2018 is available here.

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