Shortal Family Offering Grant to Teachers Who Integrate the Arts into Classroom Projects

Classroom teachers throughout Mattoon Community Unit School District 2 have an opportunity to receive a grant of up to $1,000 from the Shortal Family Fund.

Teachers or student led classroom projects with advisement from a teacher that integrate visual arts, drama, dance or music into an assignment are eligible for the grant.  Teachers may apply independently for a classroom project or apply as a group for funding to be awarded for a grade level project.

A growing trend in the district are middle school classes or high school classes mentoring younger students and these grant funds may support these types of projects if there is an integration of art.

On behalf of her family who sponsors this grant, retired Mattoon art teacher Jamie Willis encourages teachers to apply for this grant.

“There are so many teachers every year who combine the arts in their classroom studies,” said Willis.  “They either conscientiously integrate the arts or may not even realize they are effortlessly creating wonderful assignments that utilize the arts to prompt student excitement for learning.  My family and I are wanting to support these projects with this grant and possibly help the teacher(s) expand the scope of the project."

Applications are due Sept. 14.  Applications can be submitted electronically this year.  Please retain a hard copy for your records. The application is available at the following link:

Shortal Family Grant Application

“As a former teacher, I realize so many creative teachers support introducing art related projects to their students,” said Willis. “My family and I love offering this grant and we enjoy reviewing all the projects from the applicants."

Funds may not be used to fund field trips, purchase equipment or technology.

The grant application is not difficult but we do require recipients provide a follow up report about the success of the project, Willis added.

The following is not required of the projects but is preferred:

  • Applicants who demonstrate how one or more of the arts strengthen existing or new curriculum.

  • Projects that reach a larger audience.

  • Projects that are collaborations between classrooms, promoting guest artists and having other supporting or matching funds.

"When a teacher(s) are excited about a project and believe in what they are doing, my family and I can see that in their applications," said Shortal.