Yager’s second grade classroom show thier African animals books made possible by $250 grant through WGU Missouri’s “Fund My Classroom” initiative.

Ashley Yager, a second-grade teacher at Monroe City R-1 Elementary School, received a $250 grant through WGU Missouri’s “Fund My Classroom” initiative. Yager was awarded the grant during Teacher Appreciation Week in early May. The funds were used to purchase a collection of nonfiction books to add to her classroom library.

Each year, Yager’s class does a research and writing project on African animals, and she is hoping to create a published book of her students’ work this year and in subsequent school years. In order to create a good and complete book with lots of real information, her students will need access to research materials. Currently, she does not have the materials or resources for students to adequately research and learn about African animals in the level of detail she’d like, so she used this grant to purchase a collection of nonfiction books that will expose students to an abundance of information on African animals. The books will be used in her classroom for years to come.

The innovative classroom project is one of 29 across Missouri chosen by WGU Missouri to receive funding. The nonprofit university issued a call in March for K-12 teachers across the state to nominate proposed classroom projects for the opportunity to receive full or partial funding through its “Fund My Classroom” initiative.

Yager’s proposal was one of more than 100 nominations received statewide. All grants were awarded during Teacher Appreciation Week in May. “We are happy we can bring so many of these innovative projects to life through our ‘Fund My Classroom’ initiative and give the impacted teachers something to look forward to in the midst of all the uncertainty COVID-19 is causing for schools across the region,” said Dr. Angie Besendorfer, Chancellor of WGU Missouri. “This initiative is an opportunity for WGU Missouri to celebrate teachers and is a great way to thank them for the lasting, positive impact they have on their students. We were excited to hear from so many great teachers with excellent ideas that will enhance learning both in and out of the classroom.”