Teachers receive mini-grants

GARDEN CITY – Five USD 457 teachers were surprised on Nov. 15 with $200 mini-grants from the Garden City Public Schools Foundation.

Fourteen grant applications were received from school district staff. The grants, which go to help support classroom learning initiatives, may be used for the classroom, department or individual staff development.

The applications were read and judged by the Garden City Public Schools Foundation committee.

Teachers who received grants included:

  • Anita Palmer, fifth grand teacher, Jennie Barker Elementary School
  • Bethany Howard, SPED teacher, Jennie Barker Elementary School
  • Rebecca Brandt, librarian, Jennie Wilson Elementary School
  • Laura Solkey, library para-professional, Georgia Matthews Elementary School
  • Kristina Younkman, counselor, GC Achieve

Palmer will use the grant to purchase Sphero robots, which are a programmable robot balls. Students will write code to create a program that will cause the Sphero to move through various obstacles. This will expose the students to a new field of science in creating code and programming a robot to move at instructed directions. 

Howard will use the grant to purchase a program to help students with phonics, math, and reading. The program will give the students the chance to visually see what they are trying to learn, and also to use the manipulatives that are provided with hands-on learning. 

Brandt will use the grant to purchase a “Who Would Win” book series on what different animals would win in various situations. The goal is to get new and interesting books into the hands of students to increase their reading comprehension and develop a love of reading for enjoyment.

Solkey will use the grant to purchase material for story walks at the school. The story walk would create a path and making the book a treasure hunt for students, which promotes literacy and reading opportunities for students.

Younkman will use the grant to purchase items for career connections, a monthly event in which 9-12 graders sign up to learn about a specific career. Local businesses will be invited to come and share information about their career, career requirements, and future outlook for the field.

Since 2004, the Garden City Public Schools Foundation has provided more than $33,000 in grants to fund opportunities to enhance the learning environment and increase the effectiveness of instruction across the district.

The non-profit organization is committed to effectively generating, managing and distributing funds to stimulate excellence for the preservation and enhancement of an exemplary education provided by Garden City Public Schools. The Foundation functions in alliance with the Western Kansas Community Foundation.