Education Foundation for the St. Vrain Vally Logo

Eleanor Venture Travel Grant

This grant provides a teacher with an educational travel experience. Such an experience is expected to enhance the teacher’s classroom skills, expand curriculum options and ultimately benefit future students.

Application opens January 17, 2024!

Deadline to apply is February 21, 2024

The Eleanor Venture Travel Grant honors the foundation’s founder and longtime president Eleanor Flanders. This grant provides a teacher with an educational travel experience. Such an experience is expected to enhance the teacher’s classroom skills, expand curriculum options and ultimately benefit future students.

This annual grant provides the perfect tribute to Eleanor Flanders. Beginning in early WWII, Eleanor began putting away a little money here … and a little money there for her investments. She called the fund “The Eleanor Venture.” As time passed Eleanor used this money to travel … from her state college in Kansas to places all over the world. With each trip she felt renewed and energized, and her world view expanded. When asked how she might be honored upon her retirement, Eleanor looked back over her years and decided that the directors could best honor her by investing in a teacher – giving that teacher the funds for a once in a lifetime travel experience.

While such an experience can be given to only a few teachers over time, it is intended to honor all teachers and to tell them how important they are. It is expected that the trip would not only renew, energize and educate the teacher involved but that the teacher’s experience would be brought home to their classroom and to fellow teachers and students.  It would provide broad-based benefits for a long time to come.


To fund a once in a lifetime educational travel experience that will enhance the teacher’s classroom skills and/or curriculum and benefit the teacher’s students, school and district.


All K-12 teachers employed at a St. Vrain Valley School District campus for the current school year.


  • Awardee must be willing to make presentations about their travel experience to the St. Vrain Valley Schools Board of Education, St. Vrain Valley Schools Education Foundation Board of Directors and at least one community or civic organization.
  • Awardee must be willing to write a report and provide photos or videos of his/her travel experience for the Education Foundation website.
  • Awardee must be willing to participate in the selection committee for new candidates for 5 years following his/her award.

Grant Amount:

Up to $5,000

Application Criteria:

This grant is for a once in a lifetime educational travel experience.  Please consider the criteria below when writing your proposal.

  • Commitment – The St. Vrain Valley Schools Education Foundation is making an investment in the awardee.  The awardee should consider how he/she will pay it forward.
  • Impact – This educational travel experience should impact the students, school, district and community.
  • Adventure – Eleanor Flanders believed that life experiences begin and end with travel.

Application Guidelines & Restrictions:

  • Travel must be completed over the summer from June 2024 to July 2024.
  • Research travel accommodations, hotel reservations and registration fees that are refundable and/or transferable in the event the trip needs to be rescheduled.
  • Provide at least 1 current letter of recommendation from your school administration supporting your application.

Application Timeline:

  • Application Opens – January 17, 2024
  • Application Deadline – February 21, 2024 at 11:45 pm

Application Q&A Meeting:

The Education Foundation staff and Eleanor Venture Travel Grant committee will host an application Q&A meeting Thursday, February 1, 2024 from 4:00 pm – 4:45 pm. Applicants are encouraged to attend if they have any questions about the application process, want to discuss possible travel experiences or have any other questions about the grant. If you are interested in attending please email to request the Zoom meeting details.

Selection Process:

All grant applications are reviewed by the Education Foundation’s selection committee.  If selected, the finalists will be invited for an in-person interview and asked to make a short presentation about his/her proposed educational travel experience.  The selection committee will then ask the finalist any questions that they have about the application and presentation.


Finalists will be interviewed on Tuesday, March 5, 2024 between 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm.  The finalists will be contacted with an interview time if selected.

Grant Award:

The awardee will be notified the week of March 11th..

Need More Information?

If you have questions or need assistance, contact us at or 720.652.8208.

Past Eleanor Venture Recipients

Each spring the Foundation’s Board of Directors gladly awards the Eleanor Venture Travel Grant to one deserving St. Vrain Valley School District teacher to use for a once in a lifetime travel experience which ultimately enriches the classroom experience.

Beginning in 2004, district teachers have used the travel grants to travel to many exciting destinations.

Award YearGrant Recipient(s)Destination
2023Charlie Plehaty Harare, Zimbabwe
2023Paige TaylorGuatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica
2022Benjamin PrylinskiAlaska – Denali and Kenai Fjords National Parks
2021No grant awarded due to COVID-19 pandemic.
2020No grant awarded due to COVID-19 pandemic.
2019Shannon Brennan and Shelia FreehillCosta Rica
2018Colin RickmanCape Town, South Africa
2017Janet BenterRwanda
2016Kaarina DemersCuba
2015Karie Cooper and Hillari HansenKitengela, Kenya
2014David MerrillJapan
2013Brigitte TouchequeEcuador
2012Stephanie BusbyFrance
2011Scott BrungardtCentral America
2010Kristie BomanMorocco
2009Jason GageAustralia
2008Kenneth BensonNortheastern United States
2007Christina SmedleyEcuador and the Galapagos Islands
2006Susan Hartman & Jennifer ShoplandPeru
2005Bridget ShaughnessyMexico
2005Ruth SchrichteCosta Rica
2004Wendy DurstThailand, Vietnam, Cambodia