At East Farms STEAM Magnet School, teachers and Principal Tammy Fuller are celebrating something other than the Christmas season this week. They’ve just learned the school will receive more than $90,000 in grants.
Teachers and administrators have been busy applying for grants for the school’s STEAM programs, which highlight activities in science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics during the school year.
On Dec. 20, Fuller got word from the Hagan Foundation, which offers grants to nonprofits in Eastern Washington to be “innovative, creative and offer access and education opportunities for all,” according to the foundation’s guidelines. East Farms will receive a total of $93,549 through six foundation grants.
“It actually ended up being more than we anticipated,” Fuller said. “We’re pretty excited.”
Fuller’s teachers wrote many of the grants. Sixth-grade teacher Marcy Williams wrote one to create an art studio at the school.
The principal said they asked the art teacher, Sami Perry, “In a perfect world, what would you need?” Perry might get that, since the school was awarded $42,049 for an art studio.
Fuller also wants a STEM lab for science, technology, engineering and math, including microscopes. She wrote the grant that will get East Farms $25,000 for the lab.
Music teacher Lucien Saurette wrote a grant to set up a drama department that could create productions and take them to other schools. They will get $15,000 for equipment.
Saurette also wrote a $6,000 grant to create the school’s own drumming program.
First-grade teacher Donna Simon wrote a grant for $4,000 for GPS systems for a geocaching program.
Simon also wrote the grant for $1,500 to bring Mobius to East Farms.
The Hagan Foundation was created by Dr. Cornelius E. Hagan Jr., who lived by the principle of “doing the most good with the least amount of money for the greatest number of people,” according to the organization. He died in 2012 at age 101, but before his death, he created the foundation.
“I want to give back a little of what Spokane has given me,” he is quoted as saying in the foundation’s literature.
For Fuller and her teachers, the funds will give a lift to the school’s STEAM program, something they have been working toward since the beginning of the 2012-13 school year.
“It’s a Christmas miracle,” Fuller said.