Educators receive GAR Foundation grants for classroom projects

Kent Weeklies

GAR Foundation has announced $350,000 in funding to 39 teams of educators through its annual Educator Initiative Grant (EIG) program. The EIG program offers grants to K-12 educators in Summit County’s public and nonprofit private schools who present classroom innovations to support student success.

“With so much extra work for teachers helping students during this stressful COVID year, we streamlined our application process in the hopes of getting more applications from teaching teams. We were not disappointed! The ideas and innovative work submitted by our Summit County educators is outstanding,” said Kirstin Toth, senior vice president of GAR Foundation. “We’re so excited to see these projects come to fruition in the coming academic year.“

Many projects addressed social emotional learning, college and career pathway building drawing on community resources and speakers and supporting interactive approaches that address racial equity, gap-closing and a diverse learning environment for students. Some grants include a collaborative and inter-district approach.

Akron Public School’s North High School will partner with Hudson High School to share experiences related to cultural awareness, budge-building and anti-racism through their joint project called “My Voice, My Story, My Self: Exploring My Identity, Valuing Yours.” Students will co-develop projects that represent their identity through sound, art and theatre.

Cuyahoga Falls High School will have key community leaders help facilitate their Student Caucus of Color to provide a platform for student voice with teachers and staff.

More than $5.3 million has been deployed into local classrooms since the inception of the Educator Initiative Grant program in 2004. “We know that school continues to challenge families given the stress brought on by the pandemic, said Lucille Esposito, EIG program manager for GAR Foundation. “Yet we value the enthusiasm and creativity displayed by all of our applicants this year. We see this grant program as not only continuing to add value, but perhaps more so than ever before as schools begin to redesign teaching and learning methods and approaches.”

The Foundation announced the GAR Educator Conference will take place every other year and will resume in fall, 2022. The free conference brings together Summit County K-12 educators to uplift innovative strategies for student engagement and success.

The schools and projects receiving support this year include:

Cuyahoga Falls High School

  • Caucus of Color, $5,160
  • Learning Garden Network, $10,000
  • The First 45: Tigers helping Tigers from Day One, $10,000

Dewitt Elementary

  • Life Skills Learning Room, $7,440
  • Outdoor Black Tiger Zen Den, $7,840

Immaculate Heart of Mary School

  • Escaping Algebra, $8,890
  • Your View, Your Voice, $9,620

Hudson High School

  • Makertunity: Encouraging Makerspace Opportunities for Students with Other Abilities, $10,000
  • My Voice, My Story, My Self, collaboration with North High School, $10,000

Seton Catholic School

  • Many Hearts, One Journey, $9,370

St. Joseph Parish School

  • Mathematics Through the Art of Baking, $9,980
  • Rooted in Tradition, $9,900

Stow-Munroe Falls Schools

  • Echo Hills, Fishcreek, Highland, Indian Trail, Riverview & Woodland, Stretch & Support, $6,870

Tallmadge Elementary

  • These Boots Are made for Walking, $10,000

Twinsburg High School

  • Exploration of Black Voices in Literature, $9,950

GAR Foundation was established in 1967 by Galen Roush, co-founder and chief executive officer of Roadway Express, and his wife Ruth Roush. GAR Foundation’s mission is to help Akron become smarter, stronger, and more vibrant. Visit for more information.