Benton Elementary School Teacher Receives Grant from WGU Missouri

WGU Missouri

Michaela Brown will use the $450 grant to implement a diverse social studies curriculum in her classroom

NEOSHO, Mo. (July 19, 2021) – Michaela Brown, a second-grade teacher at Benton Elementary School in Neosho, has received a $450 grant through WGU Missouri’s “Fund My Classroom” initiative. The funds will be used by Brown to implement a diverse social studies curriculum in her classroom. Brown learned she was selected for funding when she was virtually awarded the grant on May 10.

Michaela Brown (right), a second-grade teacher at Benton Elementary in Neosho, has received a $450 grant through WGU Missouri’s “Fund My Classroom” project. 
Brown was virtually awarded the grant by Dr. Angie Besendorfer (left), Chancellor of WGU Missouri.

Brown feels social studies has been overlooked in the elementary setting for many years, and through this new curriculum, hopes to change that. The new social studies curriculum will focus on diversity and will introduce her students to cultures and people that are different than them. Brown will also use the funding to purchase books that will go along with the curriculum to enhance student learning and further expose them to history and the important figures that have been a part of it.

The innovative classroom project is one of 52 across Missouri chosen by WGU Missouri to receive funding. The nonprofit, fully online university issued a call in March for K-12 teachers across the state to nominate proposed classroom projects by April 18 for the opportunity to receive full or partial funding through its “Fund My Classroom” initiative. Brown’s proposal is one of almost 400 nominations received statewide. Most grants were awarded during Teacher Appreciation Week, which took place May 3-7.

“We were happy to read about all the amazing projects our teachers have planned and are excited we can bring so many to life through our ‘Fund My Classroom’ initiative,” said Dr. Angie Besendorfer, Chancellor of WGU Missouri. “This past year has been a challenging one for both teachers and students as they were forced to adapt to new styles of teaching and learning. This initiative is an opportunity for WGU to celebrate teachers and thank them for their dedication to educating and positively impacting their students, while enhancing learning for students – both in and out of the classroom.”

To learn more about the “Fund My Classroom” initiative and the work WGU Missouri is doing to help teachers advance their careers, visit   

About WGU Missouri

WGU Missouri is a competency-based, online university created to expand access to higher education for Missouri residents. The university offers more than 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the fields of business, K-12 teacher education, information technology, and health professions, including nursing. WGU Missouri faculty members serve as mentors, working one-on-one with students, offering guidance, support, and individualized instruction.

Established in 2013 through a partnership with nationally recognized Western Governors University, WGU Missouri is open to all qualified Missouri residents. The university is nonprofit and self-sustaining on flat-rate tuition of about $7,000 per year for most programs.

Degrees are granted under the accreditation of Western Governors University, which is accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). Nursing College programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE*), and the Health Informatics program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM).

More information is available at or by calling 855.948.8493.

*Western Governors University offers nursing programs that are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 5380, Washington DC 20036, 202-877-6791).