One Class At A Time follow-up: Courtney Nagengast

Posted at 4:08 PM, Dec 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-17 21:01:30-05

Earlier this month, KRTV returned to West Elementary School to see how 2nd grade students were doing after teacher Courtney Nagengast received a grant to purchase magnetic letter boards.

She says students are learning more using the boards versus traditional pen and paper because they’re having fun while staying engaged in the lesson.

“They feel like they’re playing while they’re learning and I think that that’s really important, even for second grade, I think kids learn better through play,” said Nagengast.

The new additions have even helped out in math as students are learning to build equations.

Students like 2nd grader Maci Gonzales says she loves learning new words with the letters.

“We get to learn a lot with them, spell and learn lots of new letters and uppercase and lowercase,” she said.

Nagengast says their test scores show improvement.

“Both weeks, the test grades have been higher, so I feel like they’re really getting the letters and formations better and since we’ve been using it in phonics they’re understanding those blends a lot more,” said Nagengast.

MTN News and First Interstate Bank have formed a partnership to show our commitment to education by offering a weekly grant program called “One Class at a Time.” If you know of a class or school program that could use some extra help, please log in, fill out the application and help us help Montana kids “One Class at a Time.”

What is “One Class at a Time?”
“One Class at a Time” is a joint effort between Montana’s News Station and First Interstate Bank to help fulfill needs of area schools. The KRTV program serves Great Falls area schools.

Each week during the school year, a representative from First Interstate Bank and a KRTV reporter will visit the selected classroom to receive that week’s grant. The teacher and class are presented a check for $250 to assist the class in attaining their goals. The winning class is then featured during the Monday 5:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts.

What kind of projects are considered for “One Class at a Time” grants?
There are so many different type of projects submitted! Some examples: digital video recorder for a dance class; hardcover journals for students; parts for an auto mechanics class; crafts supplies to build scale models; and science kits to supplement textbooks.

Who can apply for a “One Class at a Time” grant?
Teachers, parents, students or anyone who is aware of a special project that would enhance the educational objectives in a classroom can apply from Aug. 1 through April 1. This program is currently available to schools located in the KRTV Great Falls viewing area. If you are unsure if your school is located in an area serviced by one of these TV stations, please contact Chad McMillan at or 406-457-2741.

How can I apply for the grant?
Applicants can apply by clicking this link to the First Interstate Bank website. You may submit either the application online or print and mail the form and any attachments to:
One Class at a Time
P.O. Box 2989
Great Falls, MT 59403

How often can I apply?
There is no limit to the number of projects or times you can apply. The applications are considered for the entire 2018-2019 academic school year.

Who determines which class will receive the award?
The awards are chosen by a committee that meets the second week of each month. The committee members include employees of Montana’s News Station and First Interstate Bank, as well as area educators.

How many applications do you receive?
We received more than 100 applications during the past school year. Each year we receive applications for worthy projects that we may not be able to fund due to time constraints. Please re-apply if your special project was not chosen in the past. Our goal is to enhance our area students’ educational experience “One Class at a Time.”

For more information, please contact:
Chad McMillan
Sales & Marketing Coordinator