Marchi Mini Grants

In Mapleton, we are constantly seeking new ways to support our teachers in implementing visionary lesson plans in their classrooms. The Mapleton Education Foundation’s Marchi Mini Grant program has proven to be a key asset in helping teachers get creative with traditional curriculum – and budget – constraints.


Established in 2013, the Marchi Mini Grant program is named in memory of Lisa Marchi, a much-loved Mapleton educator. Lisa had a passion for supporting both teachers and students. 


The Marchi Mini Grant program provides funding for teachers to implement innovative, standards-based, hands-on learning opportunities in their classrooms. Award sizes range from $1,500 for an individual instructor, to $3,000 for a team application. Grant funds are made possible through generous donations to the Mapleton Education Foundation.


This year, 30 Marchi Mini Grant applications were submitted, making it one of the most competition grant cycles yet. Once grants were submitted, a three-person team from Mapleton’s Teaching and Learning department vetted, scored and gave recommendations to applicants. A committee of Mapleton Education Foundation board members then selected the following winners:


  • Big Picture College and Career Academy: Adventure Leadership Course Supplies
  • Explore PreK-8: Green Screen and Recording Equipment for EL Performance Tasks
  • Global Primary Academy: Sand Trays for Kinesthetic Phonics Instruction
  • Preschool on Poze: Sensory Space
  • Welby Community School: STEM Labs and Merge Cubes
  • York International School: LEGO Ed Spike Prime Kits
  • York International School: Physics Lab Tools
  • York International School: Podcasting Project


Maggie Phipps, Speech-Language Pathologist at Preschool on Poze, knows how important the Marchi Mini Grant program is in providing meaningful classroom experiences for the district’s youngest learners.


“These funds will allow Preschool on Poze to design a sensory space, complete with sensory tools and strategies,” said Phipps. “This space will help our students enter the academic realm in an environment that facilitates their growth as whole, confident, trusting, little humans.”


This project was especially innovative in that it was designed specifically for the population of prekindergarten-aged students.


“Access to sensory tools and strategies addresses the needs of individual learners by providing a variety of tools and strategies that are utilized according to what we currently know and what we will continue to learn about these children,” said Phipps.


York International Humanities teacher, Josh Hirsch, also intends on utilizing his school’s Marchi Mini Grant to elevate their curriculum by teaching Language Arts Through Podcasting.


“Oral communication and listening standards are often overlooked and under taught in schools,” Hirsch said. “I want to impact that by introducing students to the medium of podcasting. Creating a podcast requires research, writing and most importantly speaking clearly to engage listeners. We will hit portions of all priority standards in this unit.”


Elyse Katz, fourth grade teacher at Welby Community School, will be using their Marchi Mini Grant to put science in their students’ hands, literally! “The objective of our project is to increase student engagement through the use of hands-on STEM components mixed with literacy, science and math,” Katz said.


“Often, in elementary classes we focus on math and literacy so heavily, that students miss out on the opportunity to learn and think scientifically,” said Katz. “The Merge Cube is a great hands-on and interactive tool to help them start thinking like a scientist. Using Merge, students can interpedently manipulate and explore within three-dimensional worlds while expanding their scientific vocabulary and critical thinking skills.”


Grant programs specifically designed to target and enhance curriculum, such as Marchi Mini Grants, allows instructors to dive deeper into their lesson plans, creating a more engaging and rigorous academic environment for their students.


Congratulations to this year’s Marchi Mini Grant recipients!


To learn more about The Mapleton Education Foundation’s Marchi Mini Grant Program visit,