Boost for Teachers/Mentors Award

by Grant Roberts Area Disability Supports

The Grant Roberts Area Disability Supports group is pleased to be offering the Boost for Teacher incentive for the third year. Please share this information with your staff. Deadlines are as follows:

Tuesday, January 2nd, Boost for Teacher Announcement 

Friday, February 16th, Boost for Teacher Applications are due.

Friday, February 23rd, the GRADS Board will review applications.

Thursday, Leap Year! February 29th, 2024 Boost for Teacher/Mentors Winner(s) will be announced.

Winners will be expected to submit a paragraph/short summary by May 10, 2024.

Please copy, paste, and fill out the six questions below and email your responses to: 

or mail it to: Mary Lou Bullert, 47822 158th Street, La Bolt, SD 57246

Overview: GRADS, is awarding $100 Boosts to MS/HS teachers, mentors, speech therapist, occupational therapist, and/or guidance counselors who are providing instruction in the area of job skills, self-help skills, communication skills, socialization, working with money, meal preparation and/or empowerment to students with disabilities in the Grant Roberts area. We know teachers/mentors invest much of their own time and money into classroom activities and would like to recognize their efforts. With that in mind and in the spirit of National Disabilities Employment Awareness, one hundred dollar checks will be directly awarded to the winning applicants on Leap Year Thursday, February 29th, 2024. Proposals may be submitted from now until the deadline of February 16th, 2024. 

Target Audience: 

The target group is MS/HS students with special needs and adults who are being mentored because of a disability. This may include individuals who are involved in job skill training, independent living, have communication needs, need support in the area of mental health, physical fitness, or those who are approaching a transitional phase in their education or adults within the community who receive mentoring services. 


Teachers/mentors who are selected for the Boost for Teachers Awards will need to submit a paragraph/short summary of their project by Friday, May 10th, 2024. The summary will be posted on our website. 


1. Is this for a specific individual need or for a group?

2. How many individuals with disabilities will benefit from your proposal? 

3. If applicable, estimate how many individuals without disabilities will be included in your activity. For example, the activity may be done in an inclusion setting.

4. A brief explanation of how you will utilize the $100 (one hundred) to assist individuals who have a disability and are acquiring job skills, self-help skills, communication skills, mental health, physical fitness, socialization, working with money, meal preparation and/or empowerment, such as using public transportation. (1 page or less) 

5. Budget: Please identify how the one hundred dollars will be utilized. This could be an estimate for materials to facilitate your activity. Applicants may use funds to purchase items for their use and the target individuals. For example, funds could be used to pay for both the mentor and target individual to use public transportation, purchase tickets to an event, buy food, or materials for a classroom project. Activities, like Special Olympics, are acceptable.

6. Submit this form on or before Friday, February 16th, 2024. 

GRADS Meeting Minutes November 9, 2023

Middlebrook Community Room 6:30 p.m.

Six people were present at the Grant Roberts Area Disability Supports meeting.

Boost for Teachers and Mentors

MaryLou Bullert presented the proposal for 2024. It is included with these minutes. The timeline includes: January 2, 2024-Announcements are sent out.

February 16, 2024-Applications are due.

February 29, 2024- Winners are announced.

Pick-a-Prize Raffle

MaryLou Bullert has organized a pick-a-prize fundraiser. She demonstrated how this fun raffle works. This local project will be started after Thanksgiving with the prize boxes and tickets at The Bank Coffee Shop in Milbank.


Laura Maag from LifeQuest has requested funding from GRADS to pay for gas for out-of-town recreational events. The group plans to attend “The Birthday Club”, a play in Watertown, as well as to make a visit to the Redlin Art Center. Laura will submit a bill for reimbursement.

Laura Maag expressed concern that transportation costs to and from work will no longer be covered by the Department of Social Services. This greatly impacts individuals with disabilities who travel to their jobs.

NDEAM Review

Rachael Johnson shared the evaluation of the National Disability Employment Awareness Month event in Sisseton held on October 5, 2023. She requested input from the group for the upcoming debriefing meeting in December. Suggestions included expanding the event by inviting other schools to attend. Perhaps Milbank could host an event, too.


Diane Stewart requested information to add to the upcoming Grant County Arc News. We want to include a big THANK YOU to Arc for helping to sponsor the NDEAM event. We also thank Diane for including GRADS information in the newsletter.

Special Olympics

A request was made for for funding for motel costs for adult participants attending the next bowling tournament. We will discuss this again at the January 2024 meeting.

Financial Report

The checking account balance in First Savings and Trust in Milbank was $3,810.13 on September 29, 2023.

Next Meeting

The January 11, 2024 GRADS meeting will be via ZOOM at 6:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Rachael Johnson

GRADS Secretary/Treasurer

GRADS Meeting Feb. 7, 2023

Middlebrook Community Room 5:30 p.m.


This brief meeting focused on the Lucky Leprechaun raffle and the Boost for Teachers grants.

Lucky Leprechaun Raffle

MaryLou Bullert shared pictures of donated items. Rachael Johnson brought additional items from Doubletree Gallery, 3 Bean Coffee, Teal’s Market and garden/bird stuff. MaryLou had a printout which listed all the gift basket contents. The three baskets have a total value of over $1,000. Rachael and MaryLou will send thank you notes to the contributors. Raffle tickets were distributed. The raffle officially starts today. If anyone wishes to help sell raffle tickets please reply to this message and we will mail some to you.


Boost for Teachers

We reviewed applications. It was decided to award four $100. grants for Boost for Teachers to be presented by February 17. The recipients are May Amodia from Sisseton (coffee shop project), Karen Siriban from Sisseton (Cricut project), Michele Benike from Milbank (transition program/ job readiness), and Abbey Trapp from Milbank (support for Special Olympics Track and Field event hosted by Milbank). Congratulations to these teachers and their students. Rachael Johnson, GRADS Secretary/Treasurer, issued the checks.



A check for $100. will be sent to Cheryl Pocklington for her work with the GRADS website.


Meeting Schedule

We will meet at the end of the raffle for the drawing and distribution of baskets on Wednesday, March 15, 2023 at the Bullert home at tentatively 5:30p.m.

The GRADS annual meeting and election will be on Tuesday, April 11, 2023 at 6:30 p.m. at the Middlebrook Community Room, 902 East Milbank Avenue, Milbank.