Jan Eric Pusch Charitable Foundation
The Jan Eric Pusch Foundation…The Jan Eric Pusch Charitable Foundation was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska. The Foundation’s vision is providing assistance to positively impact people’s lives and support the growth and development of learners.
With an emphasis on education, the initial focus of the Foundation is on rural schools. The Directors and their Project Manager have strong connections to several rural schools in Nebraska, and they are aware that they typically do “more with less” than their urban counterparts. Local funding, enrollment, staffing, and proximity may create barriers. Their educators may not receive the quantity or quality of professional development they desire, and relative to music, their resources and program equipment may be limited.
The Foundation has been collaborating with the Executive Director and Executive Committee of Nebraska Rural Community Schools Association (NRCSA) to promote programs that are most relevant for rural school district needs. Based upon response the first program, Music Expressions, was implemented during school year 2016-2017. Six pilot schools were identified and have received a nationally-known music series, Music Expressions™, for their elementary music programs.
This series includes teacher materials, visuals, CDs, DVDs, and Big Books for grades K and 1. Music teachers receive several days of training by one of the series authors. Additionally, the music curriculum has been aligned with Nebraska’s Fine Arts Standards. This is an outstanding opportunity to build your K-5 Music curriculum with professional development for your music teacher.
Research has shown that practical and relevant professional development is one of the most effective ways to support educators, especially with the changing demographics of our student populations. To meet the unique needs of Nebraska’s rural schools, the Foundation awards workshops on eight topics that are both timely and relevant. The presenter is Judy Stoehr, a nationally recognized author, educator and consultant. Professional development topics include:
• Assessment for the 21st Century Classroom
• Differentiating Instruction for All Learners
• Effective Classroom Management for Today’s Students
• Integrating Reading and Writing Across the Curriculum
• Planning with the End in Mind
• Professional Learning Communities
• Collaborating for Success
• Reaching and Teaching At-Risk Students, Including ELLs
NRCSA members have an opportunity to apply for these grants. Materials are distributed in November and the deadline for applications is typically in mid-January of the following year.
Project Fit America
Project Fit America is a grant program for rural schools with 50% or more free and reduced lunch, with funding from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska. Since 2007 Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska has partnered with PFA to help achieve their mission and commitment to healthy children through prevention and health education.
The PFA health and fitness program is designed to enhance and augment programs that are currently taking place in your school and not to replace any efforts that have already been launched in your area. Past rural grant recipients include Cozad Elementary School, Cozad NE, Bayard Elementary School, Bayard NE, Superior Public Schools, Superior NE, and Shelton Public Schools, Shelton NE. These schools serve as reference and demonstration sites for the program.
PFA is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing funding and support to public and private elementary and middle schools to increase broad based fitness in education and create new opportunities for kids to become active, fit, and healthy. All programs are school-based in their development, provide teacher training at each school site, a flexible curriculum, indoor and outdoor exercise equipment, lesson plan support materials, and on-going support for a two-year period.
This is a $16,500 grant that is available to elementary and middle schools. Application materials become available in March and the deadline for submissions is typically in May.