LA CROSSE, Wis. -- It's a tough time for school budgets, but a generous holiday gift is helping dozens of local classrooms.

$5000 in grant money is going to 14 schools in our area including at Hamilton/SOTA 1 elementary in La Crosse.

The money comes from two local business owners, Misty Lown of Misty's Dance Unlimited and Lissa Carlson of Coulee Parenting Connection.  They started a project called 'Cash for Classrooms' asking students to apply for grants for things they think their classrooms could use.

Requests came in for everything from science supplies to balance balls for physical fitness, an i-pod touch and books.  "When you see the scratchy penmanship of a child writing in,  'I have a hard time reading, I'd love to have more books' or 'reading makes you smarter, help us get more books!' we can't say no.  We had to make room in the grants so everybody could have a piece of the pie," says Misty and Lissa.

Both say they had a blast working on this project.  They tell us they look forward to doing it again next year.