GRADS (Grant Roberts Area Disability Supports) is announcing its 2023 One Hundred Dollar Boost for Teachers Awards!

Last year’s winner was May Amodia from Sisseton.

Please share this information with your Special Services staff.

January 6, 2023 Boost for Teacher Announcement 

February 3, 2023 Boost for Teacher Applications are due.

February 7, 2023 GRADS Board will review applications.

February 17, 2023 Boost for Teacher Winner(s) will be announced.

May 19, 2023, a short summary from the winners will be posted on the GRADS website. 

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

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

If you have specific questions you can call her at 605-467-0914. 


Overview: GRADS, is awarding $100 Boosts to MS/HS teachers, 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 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 Friday, February 17, 2023. Proposals may be submitted from now until the deadline of February 3, 2023. 

Target Audience: 

MS/HS students with special needs who are involved in job skill training, independent living, have communication needs, need support in the area of mental health or are approaching a transitional phase in their education. 


Teacher(s) who are selected for the Boost for Teachers Awards will need to submit a few paragraphs summarizing their project by Friday, May 19, 2023. The summary will be posted on our website. 



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


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


3. If applicable, estimate how many students 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 empower students who have disabilities and are learning skills in the area of occupations. (1 page or less)


5. Budget: Please identify how the one hundred dollars will be utilized. This could be an estimate for supplies and materials to facilitate your activity. For example, food to make meals. Applicants may use funds to purchase items for their use and/or student use.


6. Submit this form on or before February 3, 2023. 

As 2022 rolls into 2023, we reviewed our GRADS board minutes and we have quite a list of accomplishments to be proud of. Here are some highlights of what we did in 2022:

  1. The GRADS website has continued to improve and evolve. Events on the calendar are now updated more frequently and provide better documentation of events to assist in saving time when planning similar projects.
  2. The Lucky Leprechaun raffle opened the door for GRADS to contact schools in Sisseton, Milbank, St. Lawrence Catholic School, Big Stone, Summit, and Wilmot. Excellent event coverage was provided by the Lake Area Tidbits as well as the Sisseton and Milbank newspapers.
  3. We had a very successful Rummage Sale in June.
  4. GRADS and Life Quest did a gift jar filling activity that utilized measuring, teamwork and socializing skills and concluded with a pizza party. Later, GRADS sold the gift jars to help support organizational goals.
  5. Laura Maag set up a display for the Hartford Beach Parade of Lights and included GRADS.
  6. This past September saw the launch of the Boost for Teachers Award. As a result, GRADS was able to connect with schools in Wilmot, Sisseton, Milbank, Big Stone, and Summit.
  7. The NDEAM event was very successful! Bobbie Jo’s of Beardsley, MN provided an excellent meal and Robert Anthony was our inspirational speaker. Mae Amodia was recognized as the 2022 Boost for Teachers winner.
  8. Plans were made to save GRADS information on the Cloud Forever site. Diane Spilde will provide assistance.
  9. Katrina Koeppe will plan the ADA event in 2023.
  10. Plans for Day Services in Sisseton are being pursued.
  11. Diane Stewart has been very supportive by including GRADS articles in the Grant County Arc News. The Grant County ARC has a substantial mailing list and gives GRADS great publicity without the cost of postage.

Thank you to all who supported and participated in our events! We appreciate your continued support!

GRADS Meeting November 8, 2022

Middlebrook Community Room 6:30 p.m.

Four people were at the November meeting of Grant Roberts Area Disability Supports.


The National Disability Employment Awareness Month celebration was held on October 6 in Sisseton with 56 people attending from towns in Grant and Roberts Counties as well as Aberdeen. We had employers and employees, representatives from GRADS, Grant County Arc, Voc Rehab, LifeQuest, and local schools, and community members in attendance. The attendees enjoyed the meal, the comfortable venue, and the enthusiastic speaker, Robert Anthony. We thank GRADS, Grant County Arc, and Sisseton Public Schools for helping to sponsor this event. We plan to have another event in 2023.

Boost for Teachers

MaryLou Bullert will arrange for another Boost for Teachers grant to be announced in January. Congratulations to May Amodia, Transition-PAES Supervisor (Teacher), from Sisseton. She received a check for $100. for her Lunch Preparation project.


MaryLou Bullert wants to do a Lucky Leprechaun fundraiser again. We also talked about having a grill or patio set raffle.


We will ask Cheryl Polkington for current information on number of views to the site.


Katrina Koeppe can assist with invitations for an Americans with Disabilities Act picnic or bingo event, on the last Monday in July perhaps. We will discuss this further at our April meeting and reserve the venue.

Request for Help

We had a request for obtaining day services for adults with disabilities in the Sisseton area. It was suggested that LifeQuest may be a good option. Charlotte Athey would arrange and attend a meeting with Pam Hannah, LifeQuest CEO, from Mitchell. Information to bring to the meeting should include the number of people who desire services and what services are needed, (eg. recreation, cooking). Rachael Johnson will follow up on this request.

Financial Report

The GRADS checking account balance was $3,135.68 in First Bank & Trust on 9-30-22.

Next Meetings

The next GRADS meeting will be on February 7, 2023 at 6:30 p.m. via ZOOM.

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

GRADS  will meet for their annual board meeting and election on Tuesday, April 11, 2023 at 6:30 p.m. at the Middlebrook Community Room, 902 East Milbank Avenue, Milbank, SD.

If interested in attending the meeting please use the website contact form or email