Alumni Association provides ‘Teaching and Learning Grant’ opportunity


Emilee Wegner

English teacher Angela Femali unpacked the books she was able to purchase for her classroom through the Alumni Association’s, ‘Teaching and Learning Grant.”

Emilee Wegner, Social Media Manager

The Alumni Association sent out the new annual teacher grant applications, they made this process very simple for teachers to fill out. 

“Teachers fill out a Google form that asks various questions about what the grant will be used for and why it is important. Their response is sent to the administration. If approved by administration it is then sent to the Alumni Association for approval,” Alumni Association member Missy Daubner said. 

The Alumni Association provides this opportunity to help gain resources in the classroom that do not fit in the school budget.

“The BHS Alumni Association encourages academic achievement through financial support that provides enhanced teaching and learning opportunities not covered within the normal school budget. This application should be completed by Berlin Area School District Educators to seek funding for projects, ideas, field trips, equipment, or supplies that will enhance the learning opportunities provided to the students of the Berlin Area School District,” Daubner said. 

With these few requirements for what the grant money should be used for, two teachers have been chosen to receive the grant. 

“So far grants have been awarded to Mrs. Femali for adding more books to her classroom library and to Mrs.Goettl for the 2nd grade to attend a field trip,” Daubner said. 

English teacher Angela Femali agrees that the process was very smooth, and explains her side of the application process.

“The application process was super simple. I filled out a Google form, created a budgeted list of items I wanted and submitted it. Then I honestly forgot about it until I found out I had been approved. Then I was able to submit a purchase order for the books I’d requested.  The business office worked with the Alumni Association to purchase,” Femali said.

Femali expresses that when students are provided with current material, they enjoy the reading more. 

“I used the grant money to buy multiple copies of six books that have a theme of transformation. I want to utilize them with Freshman English in the unit where we talk about journeys of transformation by incorporating some novel choices for students. As almost anyone who has taken a class with me knows that I think the single most important educational thing a person can do is learn to read and comprehend. We only get better at that by practicing reading.  If that is a guiding principle for my teaching, then I better have interesting, current material for kids to read,” Femali said. 

Femali says she is grateful for this opportunity given to teachers by the Alumni Association. 

“The process was so easy and in an age where budget money is growing tighter and prices are soaring we need to turn to any available financial resources there are, including grants. I am grateful to the Alumni Association for their investment in Berlin’s future and specifically in my classroom and students,” Femali said. 

Second grade teacher Tammy Goettl explains what she will be using the grant money for. 

“I wrote the grant for second graders to attend a live performance at the PAC in Appleton. Students will be seeing ‘Pete the Cat’s Big Hollywood Adventure’ on Feb. 1. Our second grade team is excited to share this experience with our students,” Goettl said. 

Goettl explains her reasoning for wanting to take the second grade to a PAC live performance. 

“In second grade we read lots and lots of books and share our favorite authors with our students. In my room we study a different author each month. Each year we schedule a live performance for students. For many students this will be their first experience seeing a live performance on the big stage. We hope this field trip will spark the love of theater in our students. And of course, get them reading more and more books. Finally, we want our students to know that learning outside of the classroom is valuable and important,” Goettl said. 

With costs rising, Goettl explains how truly useful this opportunity is, and expresses her gratitude for the Alumni Association. 

“I am grateful to the BHS Alumni Association for establishing the Teaching and Learning Grant. Our second grade field trip budget only allows $1000 for the entire school year. When you factor in busing costs, which eats up a good portion of the budget, there is no money left to cover the admission fees. We know the struggles our families have and anything to lower the initial costs is extremely helpful and appreciated. I would highly encourage staff members to apply for a grant. Remember, it’s for the students,” Goettl said.