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ICMS Teacher Ryan Burks Receives $250 Grant
Sunday, November 17, 2019

The Excellence in Education Grants for Teachers Program Awards $36,500 in Grant Money

The Illinois Retired Teachers Association Foundation (IRTAF) awards $36,500 in grant money to several public school educators (Pre-K through 12) statewide.  IRTAF is affiliated with the Illinois Retired Teachers Association, a lobbying group for retired educators, with a current membership of over 38,500.  On October 17, 2019, Ryan Burks was awarded his/her IRTAF grant check.  Below, you will find more information on the winner, along with his/her school, the amount of the award, IRTA Area, and a summarized paragraph of the project in the winner’s own words.

Ryan BurksIllini Central Middle SchoolMason City ($250.00) Area 4

The state of Illinois requires that the U.S. and Illinois Constitution be taught in the classroom, but our school doesn't purchase materials to teach the subject. I would use these funds to help purchase materials and resources that the students can use to help them learn and understand these two very important documents. Also, I would like to purchase "Escape Room" type materials to make learning about history fun and engaging for the students.

The IRTA Foundation designed this program based on the idea that educators often do not have additional revenue sources available for unique student projects or classroom materials.  This program allotted a total of $36,500 to Illinois public school educators for these purposes. 


Applicants were required to meet the proper criteria and to submit their proposals by early June.  The IRTAF Board of Directors selected the grant recipients and awards are being presented now.  The Illinois Principals Association played a vital role in assisting IRTAF with the promotion of this program.

For more information, please contact

Tricia Klim, Member Services Coordinator of IRTA, at (800) 728-4782 or go to