John Deere presented $20,000 in grants to various Ankeny school district organizations.?The grants will be used for new equipment, scholarships and grants in Ankeny schools.?"If you think of a higher way to invest in our employees it is to invest in our community," said Jeff McGill, manager of manufacturing services for John Deere Des Moines Works.?The Ankeny Community School District Foundation received a $10,000 grant it will use for scholarships and grants, as well as a $250 check for the biannual WingDing auction fundraiser to be held Thursday.

The Ashland Ridge and Westwood PTOs also received checks for $5,000 each. Ashland Ridge will use the money to create an additional computer lab for students to use for research or to explore the new literacy program.??Westwood will use its $5,000 to finish a project under way to purchase ELMO visual display projectors The money from John Deere will buy the final six projectors that will ultimately outfit all first- through fifth-grade classrooms with the projectors.

"Ashland Ridge already has a lab, but it is always being used for students during instruction," said Ashland Ridge PTO treasurer Cindy Shannon. "The additional lab will allow them outside media time."??The John Deere Des Moines Works program awards the grants each year to Ankeny-specific requests that benefit the community, fight hunger or improve education.??The amount varies each year, but the John Deere program provides around $330,000 in grants each year.