Grants Make Great Christmas Gift for OSD

Greetings!
Christmas is about so much more than gifts; however, our
school district is hoping that late December does leave us with something special under the OSD technology tree!  We
recently applied for our third Wisconsin
Technology Initiative
(WTI) grant and should find out in the next few weeks
if our application was successful.  WTI
is a foundation supported entirely by former Cisco Chief Executive Officer John
P. Morgridge.  Morgridge, along with his
wife Tashia, is a well-known philanthropist with a strong background in
supporting education.  Oostburg has
benefited from over $100,000 in WTI grants over the past 3 years.  This year’s grant is
for just under $50,000 and will supply classrooms with additional interactive
whiteboards (Smartboards), interactive instructional tables, and additional
telepresence (think Skype on steroids) units.
Grant writing is very time intensive and our success rate
has been exceptional thanks to the hard work of staff members who go the extra
mile to apply for additional funding.  IT
Manager Lucas Allen (@LucasTAllen) worked closely with Technology Integration Specialist Erica Wray (@edtecherica) and Laura Dolfin to put together this year’s application.  I certainly appreciate the long extra hours
each of them added to their regular responsibilities to get this grant submitted. 
In addition to WTI grants,
our staff regularly submits grants to our local PTO(http://oostburgpto.wikispaces.com/)
and OCEF (http://www.oostburg.k12.wi.us/pdfs/OCEFbrochure2012.pdf).  With grants totaling over $150,000 from OCEF and
$30,000 from PTO, our students receive opportunities that would
likely not be available within our regular budget.  Combining each of these major grants along
with the Carol White Physical Education
Program (PEP) Grant
of $347,133 (funded our fitness center and programming), our District has received over
$675,000 in grants since 2009.  This is in addition to the very generous donations provided by community individuals and businesses which have pushed our funding support well over $1,000,0000.
Writing grants is likely not on anyone’s top ten list of fun
things to do.  Thank you to staff
and community members that have given their time to either make grant funds available or to apply for those grants.  There is wisdom in the saying, “Where you give your time clearly shows what you value.”  Our success with grants clearly demonstrates the value our staff and community places on an Oostburg education.
Our OSD family wishes each of you a very Merry Christmas!
Kevin Bruggink