Rapids teacher receives Unsung Heroes grant
For the Rapids City Times
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – A Wisconsin Rapids teacher is the recipient of a Voya Unsung Heroes grant.
Melissa Miller, a teacher at Mead Elementary Charter School, Wisconsin Rapids, has received a $2,000 grant as part of the program that awards K-12 educators nationwide, honoring their innovative teaching methods, creative educational projects, and their ability to positively influence the children they teach.
Miller’s innovative idea – an outdoor learning center – provides students and community members from all socioeconomic backgrounds opportunities for enrichment in a screen-free outdoor learning environment, addressing the nature deficit and social-emotional needs that children and adults of today are facing. Students who utilize the future multi-sensory Outdoor Learning Center will participate in outdoor education and general curriculum lessons.
Additionally, the center will provide a space for community programming and it will be the first of its kind in the Wisconsin Rapids community. Each area of the center will incorporate multi-sensory learning with music, movement, gardening, climbing, building, gathering, recycling, and nature art.
Since 1996, the Voya Unsung Heroes program has awarded more than $5 million to help the nation’s educators turn innovative teaching ideas into reality.
Selected from a group of more than 650 applicants, Miller is one of 100 winners across the country who will receive this award to help fund and bring her program to life. In addition, she will now compete with other finalists for one of the top three prizes — an additional $5,000, $10,000 or $25,000 from Voya Financial.
To learn more about this year’s winning projects, as well as those from previous years, visit unsungheroes.com. Applications for the 2020 Voya Unsung Heroes awards are currently being accepted through the website until April 30.