Janna Miller, a special education teacher at Rock Island High School in Rock Island, has received a $600 grant through Western Governors University’s (WGU) “Fund My Classroom” initiative. The funds will be used to purchase equipment needed to implement a cooking program for her students. Miller learned she was selected for the grant on May 9 when she was surprised with a check presentation at her school, a news release says.

Western Governors University (WGU) Senior Regional Strategic Partnerships Manager Dalila Duarte (R) presents a $600 grant check to Rock Island High School Special Education teacher Janna Miller from WGU’s “Fund My Classroom” initiative in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, which ran from May 8-12. (WGU)

By creating a cooking program, Miller aims to provide her students with valuable life skills needed to prepare affordable, nutritious meals using real-world ingredients. With the grant she received from WGU, she’ll be able to acquire essential cooking equipment, including a large griddle, an electric wok, an electric boiling pot, a family sized electric skillet, a microwave, an air fryer, and various other cooking supplies. This new cooking program will empower the students to make healthier choices and develop practical cooking abilities that they can use in the future.

The innovative classroom project is one of 22 across Illinois chosen by WGU to receive funding. The nonprofit, fully online university issued a call in early March for K-12 teachers across the state to nominate proposed classroom projects by April 14 for the opportunity to receive full or partial funding through its “Fund My Classroom” initiative. Miller’s proposal is one of nearly 80 nominations received statewide. Most grants were awarded during Teacher Appreciation Week, which ran from May 8-12.

“We received so many great nominations this year, and we are thrilled to be able to fund dozens of innovative projects that will play a role in setting up our children for success later in life,” said Dr. Terrance Hopson, Regional Vice President of Western Governors University. “K-12 teachers are often limited by the costs associated with providing impactful educational learning and end up spending money out of their own pockets. The ‘Fund My Classroom’ initiative is an opportunity for us to help make a difference in classrooms across the state and show appreciation for our teachers, who work tirelessly to educate young minds.”

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

About WGU
Established in 1997 by 19 U.S. governors with a mission to expand access to high-quality, affordable higher education, online, nonprofit WGU now serves more than 140,000 students nationwide and has more than 300,000 graduates in all 50 states. Driving innovation as the nation’s leading competency-based university, WGU has been recognized by the White House, state leaders, employers, and students as a model that works in post-secondary education. In just 25 years, the university has become a leading influence in changing the lives of individuals and families, and preparing the workforce needed in today’s rapidly evolving economy. WGU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, has been named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, and has been featured on NPR, NBC Nightly News, CNN, and in The New York Times. Learn more here.