July 17, 2021

Ginny Blumhorst, a third-grade teacher at Longview Farm Elementary School in Lee’s Summit, has received a $350 grant through WGU Missouri’s “Fund My Classroom” initiative.

The funds will be used by Blumhorst to transform an unused room in the school into a magical makerspace, a shared common space where students in all grade levels can come and share their ideas and create STEM-focused products, prototypes and projects. Blumhorst learned she was selected for the grant on May 11 when she was surprised with a virtual check presentation.

For years, teachers and staff at Longview Farm Elementary School have been wanting to create a shared makerspace – where students of all ages and grade levels can step out of their crowded classrooms, spread out and create out-of-the-box projects. Through the grant provided by WGU Missouri, they will now be able to turn this dream into a reality by purchasing and stocking the room with materials and tools students need to make prototypes and projects. Special emphasis will be placed on the engineering process where students will be able to build solutions to the challenges they are presented with.

The innovative classroom project is one of 52 across Missouri chosen by WGU Missouri to receive funding. The nonprofit, fully online university issued a call in March for K-12 teachers across the state to nominate proposed classroom projects by April 18 for the opportunity to receive full or partial funding through its “Fund My Classroom” initiative. Blumhorst’s proposal is one of almost 400 nominations received statewide. Most grants were awarded during Teacher Appreciation Week, which ran May 3-7.

“We were happy to read about all the amazing projects our teachers have planned and are excited we can bring so many to life through our ‘Fund My Classroom’ initiative,” said Dr. Angie Besendorfer, Chancellor of WGU Missouri. “This past year has been a challenging one for both teachers and students as they were forced to adapt to new styles of teaching and learning. This initiative is an opportunity for WGU to celebrate teachers and thank them for their dedication to educating and positively impacting their students, while enhancing learning for students – both in and out of the classroom.”

To learn more about the “Fund My Classroom” initiative and the work WGU Missouri is doing to help teachers advance their careers, visit missouri.wgu.edu.

WGU Missouri is a competency-based, online university created to expand access to higher education for Missouri residents. The university offers more than 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the fields of business, K-12 teacher education, information technology, and health professions, including nursing. WGU Missouri faculty members serve as mentors, working one-on-one with students, offering guidance, support, and individualized instruction.

Established in 2013 through a partnership with nationally recognized Western Governors University, WGU Missouri is open to all qualified Missouri residents. The university is nonprofit and self-sustaining on flat-rate tuition of about $7,000 per year for most programs.

Degrees are granted under the accreditation of Western Governors University, which is accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). Nursing College programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE*), and the Health Informatics program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM).

More information is available at missouri.wgu.edu or by calling 855.948.8493.