Deadline Extended: Eleanor Venture $3,500 Travel Grant Offered to St. Vrain Valley Teacher
Since 2004, the Education Foundation for the St. Vrain Valley (EFSVV) has offered an annual travel grant, The Eleanor Venture, to a teacher in the St. Vrain Valley School District. The grant is in honor of EFSVV’s Founder, Eleanor Flanders. Eleanor felt her travel experiences were among the most influential moments in her life. When asked how she might be honored upon her retirement, Eleanor looked back over her years and decided that the Board of Directors could best recognize her by awarding a teacher the funds for a significant travel experience, which the Flanders family financially supports. Such a journey is intended to renew, energize and educate the teacher with the expectation that elements of the experience are brought home to their classroom, fellow teachers and students district-wide.
Eleanor Venture recipients have traveled across the world; destinations include Africa, Central and South America, Asia, Europe and the United States. Teachers have participated in exchange programs, enrolled in courses, stayed with host families and visited some of the world’s treasured sites. Most recently, Kaarina Demers, Social Studies teacher at Altona Middle School traveled to Cuba through a UNC graduate class. Kaarina was in Cuba when Fidel Castro died and witnessed the small communist country in mourning. She will collaborate with the 14 other teachers on her trip to create new lesson plans based on her experience. Kaarina says about her trip, “I am eternally grateful to have the opportunity to enrich my students’ lives and their understanding of the global community and one of our closest, yet mysterious, neighbors.”
Eleanor passed away this month at the age of 100. Her spirit will live on through her years of community involvement and the Eleanor Venture grant. Stephanie Busby, Art teacher at Lyons Middle Senior received the Eleanor Venture in 2012 to participate in an art course in Southern France. Upon hearing of Eleanor’s passing, she expressed the following: “Her Eleanor Venture changed my life and I shared that with her and sure hope she really realized what a gift she gave. I will never forget the feeling of earning the Eleanor Venture.”
The deadline for the 2017 Eleanor Venture is March 7th. You can learn more about past recipients’ experiences and apply online here: https://www.efsvv.org/programs/eleanor-venture.