Ellen DeGeneres, Target give elementary school $100K grant

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OREM — Students cheering, confetti, balloons and music were all part of a big announcement Monday at Orem Elementary School.

The school is among 50 nationwide schools receiving $100,000 thanks to the "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" and Target. The grant is part of an online contest to identify deserving schools around the country.

The news came a few weeks after the school found out it lost out on thousands of dollars by just a few votes. The school applied for a $50,000 grant from Clorox. It hoped to use the money for a new computer lab; with three students to share one computer, lessons and tests take a long time.

“Well, there are like 700 people in this school, and when a class has to take a test, usually a class has to wait outside,” explained student Jenna Hale.

Unfortunately, the school lost out on the grant money. But then one parent noticed an opportunity for an even bigger subsidy: A $100,000 grant from "The Ellen Degeneres Show" and Target.

“It was so easy to go, ‘I can write a small essay and plead our case for why we need the money,'” parent Julie Hale said.

It's huge because we're not a Title 1 school. We just fall short of that, and so other schools get money for technology needs that we don't get. We have to raise it ourselves.

–Julie Hale

The plea was heard, and Monday students were told during an assembly that their school was one of 50 schools across the country to receive a check for $100,000. The kids screamed with joy.

“Yeah, I think it’s a real miracle,” said sixth-grader Chloe Harmon.

The money will pay for a new computer lab and more.

“It’s huge because we’re not a Title 1 school,” Julie Hale said. “We just fall short of that, and so other schools get money for technology needs that we don’t get. We have to raise it ourselves.”

The PTA is now forming a committee to decide where the rest of money will go.

“These children are going to grow up and be pillars in their communities here, and we want to support them along the way,” Target employee Ryan Holdaway said.

“It’s amazing that when one door closes, another door opens — a big one!” said Julie Hales.

Email: akewish@ksl.com


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