HINSDALE, MONT. – Oct. 19, 2009 For the third consecutive year, the Qwest Foundation is awarding surprise grants to teachers who use technology in their classrooms in new and innovative ways. The grants are part of the Qwest Teachers and Technology program, which uses a competitive application process to reward Montana kindergarten through 12th-grade teachers who use technology to improve student performance.

On Monday, Oct. 19, Qwest Montana President David Gibson surprised Hinsdale High School teacher Patti Armbrister with a grant for $7,500. Armbrister will use the money to design and build a self-sustaining passive solar greenhouse.

This year, eight winners across the state will share $50,000 in grants to bring their programs to life for elementary-, middle- and high-school students.

“It’s a pleasure to continue Qwest’s Teachers and Technology grant program this year, and to bring much-needed funds to deserving teachers, students and schools,” said Qwest Montana President David Gibson. “The quality of our winners’ proposed projects exemplify how involved teachers across the state are in technology, and how committed they are to ensuring Montana’s young people are prepared for the future.”

Grant winners may use the funds to purchase equipment, software, supplies or to support professional development needed to advance the use of technology by students in their classrooms. The program is administered by the Montana Association for Career and Technical Education.