Helena City Council awards TAG Team grants to Helena educators

Published 8:40 am Thursday, April 14, 2022

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By MICHELLE LOVE | Staff Writer

HELENA – The Helena City Council presented several teachers from the Helena school system with funds from the TAG (Teachers Assistance Grant) Team at its meeting Monday night, April 11.

It’s a goal of the city to present the grants twice a year to teachers selected by the committee of Helena leaders such as Alice Lobell and Jane B. Holmes Library Director Dan Dearing. Teachers apply for the grants by presenting what specific needs they would use the funding for.

“This was the first time we’ve done this grant where we actually had to turn people away, which hurt us to have to do that, but the good thing is the popularity of this grant is becoming more and more prevalent,” said Mayor Brian Puckett.

The principals of each school were called up to help present the individual checks to the chosen educators. The teachers asked for a diverse list of different classroom needs such as iPads, science lab equipment, new desks, sensory equipment, new books and more.

This was the third presentation of the grants, and Puckett said in the year and a half since they started awarding the grants, the city of Helena has given 86 Helena teachers $220,000. Fifty total teachers applied for these grants for the April 2022 installment totaling $192,544, but only 33 were able to be chosen.

“Anyone who did not receive a grant this time around, please encourage them to apply next time,” Puckett said.  “I can’t thank the City Council enough for approving this each time we do it and for the committee for choosing these educators. Good news is we get to do it all over again in November.”

Council member Chris VanCleave offered his gratitude to the educators present in the Council closing comments.

“It is not easy being an educator,” he said. “All of you come in day in and day out to work hard and teach these children, and everything you do is appreciated. Thank you for all you do.”