DENVER (KDVR) – Navigating through the challenges posed by the pandemic was a hurdle-riddled era for people young and old, businesses, downtown economies, and industries as a whole.

But now, Colorado’s governor is awarding emergency education relief funding to 21 schools that exemplified resilience throughout those troubling times, all while advancing education for their student body.

On Friday, a message from Gov. Jared Polis’s office revealed that 21 schools in the state will be receiving $50,000 in addition to being named among the Governor’s Bright Spot Award winners.

“The unprecedented challenges schools faced through the pandemic were difficult to navigate but, your schools, teachers and communities showed incredible resilience and I am honored to highlight you all,” Polis said on Friday.

Governor’s Bright Spot Award winners

  • Alicia Sanchez International School 
  • Grand Mesa Choice Academy 
  • RiseUp Community School 
  • STRIVE Prep – Westwood 
  • Swansea Elementary School 
  • Farrell B. Howell ECE-8 School 
  • Cole Arts and Science Academy 
  • DSST: Cole Middle School 
  • Madison Elementary School 
  • Brady Exploration School 
  • Welchester Elementary School 
  • Lake County Intermediate School 
  • Chatfield Elementary School 
  • Bookcliff Middle School 
  • Bill Metz Elementary School 
  • Heritage Elementary School 
  • Franklin School of Innovation 
  • Irving Elementary School 
  • Rocky Mountain Elementary School 
  • Fort Lupton High School 
  • Sherrelwood Elementary School 

Schools receiving this honor were chosen on their ability to demonstrate strong growth in student achievement since 2019.

“Congratulations to these schools that have shown strong improvements in results despite the pandemic, and to all those that worked to advance students’ learning over the last three years,” Polis said.

The $50,000 that each winning school is being awarded is coming from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund.

“I look forward to seeing how you utilize the funding to keep uplifting your students and advance learning,” Polis said.

According to the statement from the governor’s office, this funding is to be invested in “expanding student resources, faculty development, preparing and preventing public health emergencies and other opportunities that will benefit students’ learning experiences.”

This includes upgrades in areas like tutoring services, mental and behavioral health, protocol overhauls for future health emergencies, general school improvements and faculty development.