2021 Creative Solutions in Education Grant Winners

In celebration of Architecture Incorporated's 45th anniversary, we have established a new annual grant program to award multiple worthy K-12 educators with a combined total of $4,500 in funding to help their students thrive and succeed. The grant was named to align with our values of Creative Solutions and Proven Service. We are seeking out-of-the-box ideas of all sizes to address teachers' challenges and encourage ingenuity in education.

We were very excited to receive 56 applications from across the region, many of which were very deserving so it was difficult to select the winners! To be eligible, the applicant must be a teacher in the state of South Dakota or within 100 miles of Sioux Falls or Rapid City. Grant applications can be for any amount up to $4,500. Grant materials can be used in a classroom, across a grade level, throughout a building, or district-wide, but cannot be for food. 

Prior to judging, our committee removed the applicant's name and school district from the application to remove any bias. Grants were judged on the following criteria: 

  • Clearly written
  • Enhances curriculum or teaching standards
  • The need / rationale was clearly explained
  • The outcomes / benefits were clearly defined
  • The applicant was specific about how the grant funds would be used
  • The grant would have a positive impact on the community

The winners highlighted below scored highly in all of the criteria listed above.  

Lincoln HS_Christian SwensonYard Libraries

Christian Swenson
Sioux Falls School District (Lincoln High School)
“In an effort to increase literacy rates in children, as well as teach teenagers the basics of residential construction, I am hoping to incorporate the building of yard libraries into my home maintenance classes. This would be a collaborative effort with the LHS English Language Learners department to get books in the hands of children in low-income neighborhoods within the city of Sioux Falls.”



SF Lutheran_Kristy Bridgesoperation develop mathematicians

Kristy Bridges
Sioux Falls Lutheran School
“Studies have shown that students who use DreamBox consistently for just 60 minutes per week improve their math scores by nearly 60%. We believe that, with the addition of DreamBox to our current curriculum, we can inspire future engineers and architects by giving them the foundational knowledge they need to be successful in math and science careers. And, have fun learning!”


Lennox_Madison Waldner


Madison Waldner
Lennox School District
“My proposed project would allow students to interact for a day or week in a profession-themed learning environment. Classes would use the given materials to interact with a standard-based activity in order to see real-life connections to careers they may choose one day to pursue. An example activity may be a surgeon-themed day which would include students scrubbing in to dissect Jellotrays. They would be given a “case” and work together as a medical team to remove the laminated answers related to subjects and standards at grade level.”


Anne Sullivan_Danette Dyer


Danette Dyer
Sioux Falls School District (Anne Sullivan Elementary)
“During an early lesson on compound words, I had a student ask what several of the words meant. Some examples are a teapot, lighthouse, wildlife, and ponytail. Reflecting on that week, I began to realize that our students might learn the skills to read through the curriculum; however, still do not comprehend due to a lack of schema or language. In order for our students to be successful in decoding and comprehending, they need visual supports embedded in the classroom.”