Past Educator Grant Recipients
2022–2023 Grant Recipients
xMinds continued its popular “Cash for Your Classroom” campaign in 2022-23, distributing nearly $10,000 to 95 educators of autistic students in Montgomery County. We awarded 87 grants, each up to $100, to help educators purchase materials that support autistic students. We awarded another eight grants, each up to $250, for trainings on how to support autistic learners.
Grantees purchased a range of teaching materials with the funds, everything from the Zones of Regulation curriculum to help students develop self-regulation and emotional control, to household items, including a countertop burner, silverware, and a clothing rack, to teach life skills to secondary school students. Sensory materials were particularly popular, with teachers using their funds to purchase hammock chairs, stress balls, Play-Doh, sensory string, and more.
Educators who received grants toward trainings, tapped into a number of different programs, including the Learn It Today, Use It Tomorrow! course on improving students' executive function skills and the Meaningful Speech course on how to support children with delayed echolalia (scripting).
2021–2022 Grant Recipients
In 2021–22, xMinds distributed nearly $18,000 to 165 Montgomery County educators to purchase classroom materials geared toward autistic students and attend trainings on how to better support these learners. Thanks to our generous donors, we increased funding this school year and helped more educators than ever before. We were thrilled to receive a $9,250 grant from the Women Who Care of Lower Montgomery County giving circle, who recognized the importance of our work.
We started the school year with our Cash for Classrooms campaign, which awarded grants of up to $100 to purchase materials that support autistic students, such as noise-canceling headphones, weighted vests, fidgets, beanbag chairs, standing desks, wobble stools, hand-strengthening tools to help with handwriting, and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) apps that help nonverbal students express themselves. With the need for classroom supports still pressing, we launched our Winter Wish List campaign to supply more classroom materials and fund professional trainings. One educator used the funds to earn certification as an Autism Spectrum Disorder Clinical Specialist, while another is attending a weeklong institute on using AAC with students who have Cortical Visual Impairment. After a year of virtual education, MoCo educators were excited this year to be back in the classroom with much-needed hands-on materials and fresh teaching strategies.
Photos: (Top) Elizabeth Nardin, a teacher in the School Community Based program at Gaithersburg High School, put her grant toward a yearlong project in which her students built a Butterfly Sensory Garden. The students engaged in job skills and created a peaceful spot at the school for students to enjoy. (Bottom) Michelle Kerbel used her grant to purchase daily planners to keep her students organized and help them develop executive functioning skills.
2020 Grant Recipients