Ridgefield — More than $4,300 in mini-grants distributed this fall through the Ridgefield Public Schools Foundation helped teachers provide students with more avenues to learning. The 10 awards ranged from $80 to $500 and were used to purchase teaching tools including a flight simulator for the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) program at View Ridge Middle School and a new ceramics kiln controller for Ridgefield High School. Another round of grants will be awarded to teachers in early spring. Since the nonprofit foundation started its mini-grant program three years ago, nearly $20,000 has been distributed to classrooms across the district. "Students haven't had the opportunity to work with clay in years," said Ridgefield High art teacher Rebecca Carlisle in a press release. "The controller will give students experience creating more types of three-dimensional art."