OWATONNA — The 761 Foundation recently awarded about $110,000 through its mini-grants program for use during the 2019-2020 academic school year.

The awards will fund — partially or fully — 53 of 71 mini-grant requests received from teachers and principals in Blooming Prairie, Medford, New Richland and Owatonna public schools.

“Although assets have grown significantly since the Foundation’s start in the early 1990s, programming needs continue to outpace our ability to fund mini-grant requests,” said Bruce Paulson, chair of the 761 Foundation.

Included in this year’s awards was $26,000 in funding from the Wenger Trust to purchase instruments for the Owatonna Middle School and High School orchestras.

Every year, the 761 Foundation awards about $100,000 to teachers and principals to fund creative and innovative programs that benefit a large number of students and is not likely to be funded through traditional school funding.

The 761 Foundation was established in 1993 to support students and staff with opportunities and programs not usually funded with tax dollars. Since then, the 761 Foundation has awarded more than $2 million in mini grants to Owatonna Public Schools teachers and principals for programs and activities that enhance educational opportunities for all students.

More information about the Foundation, its history and its work may be found its website at 761Foundation.com or by calling 444-8610.

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