The Carnival Classic is a city-wide celebration of public education and kick off to the new school year held annually at Memorial Park on the 3rd Sunday of September. Student organizations, PTOs and other school related groups are encouraged to participate with booths and games from which they retain 100% of their proceeds. Other youth related organizations in the Helena area are encouraged to participate with performances or informational booths.
Great Ideas Grant Program
The Great Ideas Grant Program is a cornerstone of the Helena Education Foundation’s mission to enrich education in the Helena Public Schools. It is designed to put money directly into the hands of classroom teachers, helping educators take ideas for innovative teaching strategies and make them a reality. Grants will be made twice each school year to successful applicants who are teachers employed by the Helena School District for up to $1000 for individuals and up to $3000 for group or team applications
The Foundation’s Issues Institutes provide a forum for Helena public school teachers to discuss current national issues with leading professionals around the country, their peers from all grade levels and curricular areas, and people from the Helena area community. The Institutes are designed for personal as well as professional enrichment and teachers are encouraged to attend based on their interests, not their curriculum needs. The institutes are free to Helena School District employees and open to the community as space allows.
Celebration of Excellence
The Celebration of Excellence is HEF’s annual tribute to those graduating students who have excelled in academics or other areas of achievement during their years in high school. Distinguished Scholars are identified based upon their grade point averages and the numbers of total credits and honors credits they have completed. Distinguished Achievers are nominated by educators and selected by a committee of community members. Each student then honors the teacher who had the most meaningful impact on his/her education.
In addition to providing professional development for teachers, the Helena Education Foundation sponsors an annual Leadership Institute for Helena Public School administrators. The Institute seeks common interests among business leaders and administrators and provides a forum in which they can work together to address issues of concern and forge partnerships of mutual benefit.
Fabulous Firsts is the Helena Education Foundation’s way of welcoming first graders to their role as full time students. Each student receives a hard cover book as a gift. The books are presented at a Reading Celebration for families at each of the elementary schools in the district. The titles change annually and are selected by a committee which seeks the best among new fiction for children.
Great Conversations is a celebration of life long learning and the civilized art of conversation. Guests chose from among approximately 35-40 topics which change each year and enjoy an evening of fine dining and conversation with 6-7 other guests who share an interest in the topic and a table facilitator who is an expert on the subject. More than 300 people attend each year and often find the “great conversations’ can continue far beyond the evening they share. Great Conversations is typically held on the Wednesday prior to the week of Thanksgiving.
Trading Places is designed to allow business and community leaders the chance to learn more about the role of building administrators in our schools and to experience first hand the decisions and responsibilities principals face each day. Principals will learn more about the business world and see how schools can play a role in supporting local businesses and community organizations.
Contracts for car loans, cell phones and credit cards; internet safety, electronic footprints; establishing good credit? Not your typical high school academic coursework, but the Helena Education Foundation, HHS and CHS business departments, the Student Assistance Foundation, American Federal Savings Bank and Montana Office of Consumer Protection team up to sponsor just such an “academy” – with a Vigilante theme – for students at both high schools. The Vigilante Academy makes the most of time afforded by preparation for Helena’s annual parade to teach some real life lessons that will serve high school students well as they begin to enter adulthood.