Keystone Area Education Agency logo

McElroy Grant

McElroy Excellence in Education
Kids in a circle with the Keystone logo and the words Inspire and transform off to the right of the photo. 

The purpose of the McElroy Grant program is to provide funding for classroom teachers to develop innovative, educational experiences for their students in the second semester of the school year. These projects must be an integral part of the curriculum and must demonstrate excellence in education.

Grants ranging from $500-$2,000 will be awarded to teachers in AEA 1 schools. A total of $25,000 is typically available annually. This funding is provided by the McElroy Trust as part of its McElroy Excellence in Education grants program. It is intended that these grants fund expenses not generally covered by school district budgets. The funds may be used for, but not limited to, equipment, materials, supplies, or enrichment and use of equipment for which the money is allotted. Reading or math programs such as Accelerated Reader, Reading Counts, or Guided Reading materials, do not qualify for funding. Please do not request funding for food. The grant reading team reserves the right to limit the number of grants awarded to any one district. 

Either an individual or a team may submit a grant. Not teacher may be involved in more than one grant. To be eligible, a teacher must hold a current teaching certificate and must be teaching in an AEA1 school that the Department of Education approved. Funds will be distributed to the individual school district in the teacher's name. 


McElroy Grant Blog

Get the latest updates

McElroy Grant:  Prescott Elementary, Dubuque CSD: Designing Our New Digs

Photos courtesy of Carolyn Wiezorek

Students designed their new learning space! Check out their results!


Designing Our New Digs

The purpose of this project is to have students redesign the classroom to include flexible seating that provides students comfort, offers sensory options, and promotes collaboration. Our fourth-grade class includes twenty-five students that will measure classroom space, determine seating that will maximize space and functionality for classroom activities (leisure reading, writing, group work, games, drawing, etc.), and shop online using a set budget. Students will consult the custodian to ensure all items meet district standards/policies. They will begin with individual plans, analyze and evaluate each one, then collaborate to synthesize plans and create the ideal classroom for all members. Students will also collaboratively create a class agreement for taking care of our newly developed classroom.

  • Amount awarded: $1,842.00
  • Grade level: 4
  • School: Prescott Elementary
  • District: Dubuque
  • Teacher(s) name(s): Carolyn Wiezorek and Stacy Morley
Read More about McElroy Grant: Prescott Elementary, Dubuque CSD: Designing Our New Digs
McElroy Grant: Clayton Ridge CSD, Sweeten the Learning with Swivl

by Ms. Ellen Johnson, CR School Board & Guttenberg Press

Wishing isn’t all it takes to get what you want, as is the case when applying for a McElroy Grant; it takes time and effort to obtain.

Clayton Ridge High School recently received $999.00 from the McElroy Trust. The fund was established in 1965 by R. J. McElroy. He was the founder of Blackhawk Broadcasting Company of which KWWL Radio, KWWL Television, and other broadcasting companies. It was stipulated in his will that the money from the trust be used for “the educational benefit of deserving young people.”

Mrs. Nicole DeGidio, Instructional Coach and English teacher, and Family and Consumer Science teacher, Miss Angela Williams worked together to obtain the grant for the school. The grant made it possible for the purchase of a Swivl robotic camera.

“The camera system will be used for the Culinary Skills class,” smiled Miss Williams excitedly. “ The whole class will be able to see students preparing recipes from an overview, much like is done on the TV show, Cupcake Wars, and other popular cooking programs. The camera will show the cooking process from the student’s perspective.”

“There is one marker camera that follows the person around the room and four other markers to record audio,” explained Mrs. DeGidio as she demonstrated the possibilities. “A video is made, too, and can be edited for presentations later on.” The video will be edited using the Swivl app on an iPad and can then be uploaded and shared via YouTube and other channels.

Mrs. DeGidio became aware of the camera and its possibilities while visiting other schools last year. As part of her Instructional Coach position, she was observing technology used in other districts.

“The system also works with the Promethean Interactive White Boards that were recently purchased for some of the classrooms,” concluded Mrs. DeGidio. “Although the camera will be initially be used for the Family Consumer Science classes, other teachers and classes will be able to take advantage of the new device.”

Link to Eagle Voice Newsletter (original post)


Sweeten the Learning Experience with Swivl

In this project, approximately 100 Family and Consumer Science students in grades 9-12 will participate in a cake baking and decorating competition, similar to the popular Food Network TV series Cake Wars. As a culminating activity, students will be given a client and work in teams to use knowledge learned to design and create a cake as requested by the client. The process will be documented through video captured with Swivl and edited into a final “episode” to be shared publicly at the end of the project.

  • Amount awarded: $1,292.00
  • Grade level: 9-12
  • School: Clayton Ridge Middle School/ High School
  • District: Clayton Ridge
  • Teacher(s) name(s): Angela Williams


Read More about McElroy Grant: Clayton Ridge CSD, Sweeten the Learning with Swivl