State Farm Insurance presented the Milbank School District with a $100,000 check last winter.
The money was part of a grant to enhance education and this year marks the first disbursement of funds for several programs. “This is critical since we live in a state with poorly funded schools,” explained a member of the grant committee. “State Farm is offering us an amazing opportunity.”
When first applying for the grant, students in the Diversified Occupations class, taught by Nancy Quade, were involved in establishing a budget. “The students helped create the budget and were very conservative and frugal,” explained Milbank High School Principal Dan Snaza. Once the donation was awarded, the proposed budget went into effect.
A student celebration was staged at the end of the school year, last spring. The celebration included inflatables for students in all three schools as well as a cookout at the middle and high school. $10,000 was earmarked and used for that celebration.
Half of the funds from the grant have been set aside for the health careers class. “We hope the money will sustain the program for at least 10 years,” explained Snaza. Johanna Fischer, school nurse, will be the main coordinator of the program. Other health care professionals such as Dr. Nanci Van Peursem, Amy Thue and Natalie Gauer have been instrumental in getting this program ready. “The class will expose students to the wide variety of careers involved in the health care field, not just doctors and nurses, but lab technicians, therapists, accountants, computer technicians and more,” said Snaza.
Funds for the driver’s education and safety classes will help furnish the materials needed for the class. A student fee will also remain in place.
Thirteen $250 Diverse Occupations Scholarships were awarded to last year’s seniors to help further their education. The grant also includes money for future assemblies and allowed the school to give a $5,000 donation to the Grant County Combined Appeal.
Snaza explained that the State Farm grant may be available again this year, but Milbank will not be eligible for the top $100,000 award again. “We possibly will be able to compete for a lesser amount, but we have not been informed, yet,” he stated.
Specific dollar amounts that make up the $100,000 grant are:
$50,000 Health Careers Class
$20,000 Future Student Assemblies
$10,000 Driver’s Education and Safety
$10,000 Student Celebration
$5,000 Combined Appeal Donation
$5,000 Diverse Occupations Scholarships