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Arch Coal kicks off teaching grants program

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The Arch Coal Foundation is making a significant change to its popular Delta County Innovative Teaching Grants Program for the 2015-2016 school year. The announcement was made by Jim Miller, general manager of Mountain Coal Company's West Elk mine.

"As in years past, the foundation will provide up to $10,000 in grants to Delta County schools," Miller said. "However, in an effort to remove barriers that may have prevented Delta County's educators from devising big ideas, we have lifted financial constraints on grant applications. We believe this change will allow teachers to really stretch their imaginations and develop interesting, creative projects with broad appeal to many students in the county."

The program is open to classroom teachers, specialists, such as those teaching reading and math, school counselors and librarians who also teach a regular class. In the past, applicants were limited to ideas costing $500 or less. Now, applicants -- either individual classroom teachers or several educators working in collaboration at one school or at schools across the county -- may request funds for projects up to and including the entire $10,000.

"The teaching grants program as it previously existed was very popular," Miller said. "We believe that the new format will generate even more excitement among Delta County's educators."

A committee of area residents and local employees will review the applications for creativity, clear program goals, and specific measurement criteria and make recommendations to the Arch Coal Foundation for grant recipients. The foundation will no longer make grants for technology or equipment that will be used exactly as it is designed. To obtain a grant, the technology/equipment must be modified for another educational purpose. The foundation is not obligated to grant the entire $10,000 if sufficient applications fail to meet program guidelines.

Information about the new guidelines is being sent to all schools in the county. Complete details about the program, along with an online application form, also can be found on Arch's website at www.archcoal.com/community/teachinggrants.aspx. Grant applications are due no later than Oct. 2.

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