Funds used for 43 mini-grants throughout district

The old saying “it takes a village to raise a child” resonates inside the school system. Without the village, the Gilbert Community School District wouldn’t be what it is today.

A key part of that village is the Gilbert Education Foundation (GEF), which recently put together a highly successful fall fundraising campaign that resulted in 43 mini-grants being approved throughout the district.

The GEF is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to raising money for Gilbert Schools. It uses the money to help bridge the gap between public funding and the needs of our students and staff.

“The Foundation allows us to provide tools for our teachers that are sometimes outside of our budget,” Carrie Clark, the Director of Teaching, Learning, and Leadership, said. “We are very appreciative because it allows us to try things that we know are right for our students.”

The  Major Saver coupon cards are one of the ways the GEF raises funds, and this fall the campaign generated nearly $16,000 to go toward projects for our staff and students. Students at Gilbert Intermediate put on a clinic when it came to selling the cards, as the top five sellers — William Nissen (51 cards), Lochlyn Woodin (40 cards), Karis Johansen (23 cards), Mallory Griffin (22 cards), and Jett Schon (20 cards) — all reside in the building.

“I’m so proud of those top sellers and I’m so proud of all of our kids for being willing to be a part of the Major Saver campaign,” Gilbert Intermediate Principal Amy Griffin said. “They understand the impact of selling and what that gets for our school and our classrooms, which is really special.”

The GEF put the money raised from the Major Saver cards, plus a few extra dollars toward the mini-grants that totaled $16,369.31. Nine of the mini-grants went to programs at the elementary, 15 went to the intermediate, 11 to the middle school, and eight to the high school.

The Gilbert Community School District and the Gilbert Education Foundation cannot thank the community enough for your support. With your help, the educational opportunities for our students continue to expand. Major Saver cards are still available for purchase as well to anyone interested.

The GEF has set its annual spring fundraising event, the Rock Hop, for Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023. We hope to see you all there!

Mini-grants approved following Major Saver campaign


Angie Bonthuis, Kindergarten — Phonics and Phonemic Awareness Small Group Materials.

Veronica Breshnahan, KPrep/Preschool — Moving with a Purpose.

Heather Currans, Preschool — Early Learning through our Senses.

Deanna Haselhoff, K-2 — Interoceptive and Proprioceptive Sensory Supports.

Nicole Klaver, Kindergarten — Building Peer Relationships Through Play.

Kayla Meaney, Kindergarten — Fine Motor.

Krista Sippel, Kindergarten — Dramatic Play.

Colbi Terrones, Pre-K — Social Emotional Regulation.

Joni Tickle, Kindergarten — Play Based Learning.


Mackenzie Bloem, 3rd Grade — Flexible Seating, Weather Station.

Jayd Brown, 5th Grade — Classroom Library.

Jayd Brown, 5th Grade — Breakout Activities.

Brittany Hemesath, 3rd Grade — Flexible Seating.

Stephanie Klaffke, PE — Connect Teamwork and Fun.

Karen Mongar, 3rd Grade — Engagement Tools.

Katie Nees, 3rd Grade — Flexible Seating.

Caroline Samson, 5th Grade — Flexible Seating.

Joy Sparrey, Counselor — Social and Emotional Wellness.

Chelsea Steil, 4th Grade (Group of 6) — Materials for the Classroom.

Mel Woodin, Student and Family Advocate — BMR Calming Spots.

Middle School

Katy Charlson, 6th ELA — Alpha-Biography.

Hannah Gorman, Guidance — Wobbly Stools.

Mike Kruse, 6-8 PE — Jump Boxes.

Nathan Moore, Art — Glazes for Ceramics.

Wes Onken, 6th Math — Wipe Boards for Vertical Math Theory.

Amanda Ostrem, 6th Science — Science Olympiad.

Hannah Schmidt, 7th Science — Electromagnetic Science Investigation.

Brett Slight, 6-8 PE — Dumbbells for Fitness.

Staci Sniezek, 6th PE — FISH Iowa.

Jenni Thomas, Counselor — Desk Cycles.

Tammy Tinder, SPED — Flexible Seating.

High School

Cathy Anderson, English — Habitudes.

Adam Davis, Ag — Forging and Blacksmithing.

Brittany Fredricks, Math — Fraction Tiles.

Graham Lundt, PE — Fitness Room Equipment.

Jen Maguire, Art — Cricket Maker Bundle.

Lacie Moore, Spanish — Learning Through Movement Brain Breaks.

Troy Staudt and Jason Chung, Esports — Headphones.

Tracy Tensen, English — Headphones for Classroom.

Bob Terrones, At-Risk — Nintendo Switch.