News & Media

Arch Coal Foundation Kicks Off Colorado Teaching Grants Program for 2012-2013 School Year

August 23, 2012 at 11:30 AM EDT

SOMERSET, Colo., Aug. 23, 2012 -- The Arch Coal Foundation's Innovative Teaching Grants Program in Delta County, Colo., has kicked off for its sixth year and will feature several changes for the 2012-2013 school year, according to Jim Miller, general manager of Mountain Coal's West Elk mine.

The Innovative Teaching Grants Program, funded by the Arch Coal Foundation and created in 2007, helps teachers invent and test innovative teaching techniques for elementary and secondary students in Delta County. Last school year, Delta County teachers completed about 20 innovative classroom projects funded by the foundation, five of which have been added to the foundation's online book of innovative projects.

Mountain Coal Company, L.L.C. is a subsidiary of major international coal producer Arch Coal, Inc.

Miller said this year's program will give teachers more time to apply and to complete their grant projects. The program will also allow educators to apply online at What won't change, Miller said, is the foundation's emphasis on funding innovative, replicable classroom projects.

"Since the program began, we have received numerous outstanding applications that have been funded and tested in Delta County classrooms," Miller said. "I have been impressed with the professionalism of Delta's teachers. They use their experience to develop ideas they believe will increase student learning, and the foundation provides up to $500 to purchase materials needed to test those ideas. Because grants are limited to $500, successful ideas can be repeated -- not just in Delta County classrooms, but everywhere."

"The grants offer our teachers opportunities to be successful and to enhance learning while benefiting from the best in community, business and classroom collaboration," said Caryn Gibson, superintendent of Delta County's schools. "The Innovative Teaching Grants Program allows teachers to be creative and enrich learning."

The foundation will grant a total of up to $10,000 in Innovative Teaching Grants during the 2012-2013 school year. Eligible teachers, teaching teams and specialized education personnel in Delta County may apply for one award every school year. A committee composed of area citizens and local employees reviews the applications and makes recommendations to the Arch Coal Foundation for grant recipients.

Five projects funded by the grants last school year are featured on the Arch Coal website. They include: Understanding and Discussing Literature by Kriss Allen, Diane Hurst, Krista Carsten and Cathy Simpson of Paonia Junior-Senior High School; History Live: Students Reporting on the Past by Hailey Hancock of Delta Middle School; Teaching Narrative Language Through Technology by Stephanie Hanson of Cedaredge Elementary School; Cardiovascular Testing by Zac Lemon of Hotchkiss High School and Economics of an Independent Household by Nancy Carlson of Hotchkiss High School. They can be found at A printable booklet also is available.

"We are excited about the grants we gave this past school year, the execution of the grants by the teachers, and the findings of each project," Miller said. "The five that have been selected to be showcased online are excellent representatives of the grants as a whole.

"Most importantly, we are able to use the Internet to share these ideas and their results with other Delta teachers and with teachers around the world," Miller continued. "These teachers have provided an excellent resource for other educators who wish to duplicate a successful program or learn about a concept that was less successful and why."

Arch Coal's Mountain Coal Company and its West Elk mine are located in Somerset, Colo. About 350 people are employed at the mine. U.S.-based Arch Coal (NYSE:ACI) is a top five global coal producer and marketer, with active mining complexes across every major U.S. coal supply basin. Its core business is supplying cleaner-burning, low-sulfur thermal and metallurgical coal to power generators and steel manufacturers on five continents. In 2011, Arch continued to lead the U.S. coal industry in safety performance and environmental compliance among large, diversified producers. For more information about the Arch Coal Innovative Teaching Grants Program, visit