Education Foundation will award $80,000 more to Oak Ridge teachers

The Oak Ridge Public Schools Education Foundation will award another $80,000 in grants to Oak Ridge teachers this year, and applications are now being accepted for the 2014 grant cycle.

This year, the Foundation will award $80,000 in grants to teachers, administrative staff, and student groups as part of its ongoing “Making the Critical Difference” campaign. Grant applications are due no later than March 31.

This campaign provides resources and teaching tools over and above those funded with tax dollars, typically in the range of $500 to $5,000, a press release said. The grants are not intended for salaries or to replace items that may have been cut from the schools’ annual budgets. Since the program began in 2004, the Foundation has awarded a total of more than $399,000 to dozens of teachers in every grade. ORPSEF grants may be made for educational programming, professional development, equipment, facilities, travel, conferences, or other purposes that might be approved by the Foundation. [Read more…]

IIa pledges $5,000 to Education Foundation grants program

IIa and ORPSEF Grant

Bonnie Carroll, left, Information International Associates CEO and owner, and Kelly Callison, right, IIa chief operating officer, present Oak Ridge Public Schools Education Foundation Executive Director Lila Metcalf with a check for $1,000 for the “Making the Critical Difference Campaign.” (Submitted photo)

Information International Associates Inc., or IIa, has pledged $5,000 to the “Making the Critical Difference” campaign conducted by the Oak Ridge Public Schools Education Foundation. Bonnie Carroll, IIa chief executive officer and founder, and Kelly Callison, the company’s chief operating officer, recently presented the foundation with a $1,000 annual payment toward the pledge.

The Education Foundation is conducting the campaign to raise $500,000 for grant awards to teachers throughout the Oak Ridge schools, aiming to present $100,000 in grants each year for five years. The Foundation’s board believes that these grants have a strong supporting role in sustaining the tradition of excellence in Oak Ridge schools, as well as rewarding teachers for innovative ideas. [Read more…]

Letter: ORPSEF thanks contributors to Dreams and Innovations

Deirdre Barrett and ORPSEF Foundation

Deirdre Barrett, right, is pictured above with Alice Feldman, Linda Young, Anne Garcia Garland, and Margaret Gottshall. (Submitted photo)

To the Editor:

The Oak Ridge Public Schools Education Foundation would like to extend its thanks to all who contributed to the Dreams and Innovation program honoring Oak Ridge teachers who received Foundation grants for the 2013-2014 school year.

Our thanks and appreciation goes to:

  • B&W Y-12, which provided the location, New Hope Center, for the celebration attended by more than 150 people. B&W Y-12 also provided assistance with sound and information technology for the event.
  • Aubrey’s Restaurant, one of Oak Ridge’s newest restaurants, for providing appetizers for the event.
  • Materials and Chemistry Laboratory Inc. (MCLinc), which provided booths for the event.
  • Deirdre Barrett, the ceremony’s keynote speaker, author, psychologist at Harvard Medical School, and graduate of Oak Ridge High School. She spoke on the theme of the event, describing how dreams contribute to innovation and problem solving, relating research from her book, “The Committee of Sleep.”
  • The Oak Ridge public schools teachers who provided demonstrations of materials and programs funded by past Education Foundation grant awards, showing how students have benefitted.
  • Oak Ridge JazzCats and Michelle Hairston, who provided entertainment during the event.
  • The ORPSEF board of directors, for their support for this event. [Read more…]

Harvard psychologist to discuss dreams, innovation at Education Foundation program

Deirdre Barrett

Deirdre Barrett, a psychologist on the Harvard Medical School faculty, will discuss dreams and innovation as the featured speaker during an April 26 program hosted by the Oak Ridge Public Schools Education Foundation that will honor teachers who have received the Foundation’s 2013 grant awards. (Submitted photo)

Deirdre Barrett, a psychologist on the Harvard Medical School faculty known for her research on dreams and hypnosis, will return to her hometown to speak on “Dreams and Innovation” on Friday, April 26, in Oak Ridge.

Barrett is the featured speaker at the “Dreams and Innovation” program hosted by the Oak Ridge Public Schools Education Foundation to honor teachers who have received the Foundation’s 2013 grant awards, beginning at 5 p.m. at New Hope Center.

The free event is open to the public, and no reservations are required.

Barrett is an Oak Ridge High School graduate, and she will describe how dreams contribute to innovation and problem solving, relating research from her book, “The Committee of Sleep.” The book is subtitled “How Artists, Scientists, and Athletes Use Dreams for Creative Problem-Solving—How You Can Too.” [Read more…]

Education Foundation gives city $400,000 for ORHS debt

Mark Watson and Lila Metcalf

Oak Ridge Public Schools Education Foundation Executive Director Lila Metcalf presents a $402,611 check to Oak Ridge City Manager Mark Watson to help pay the debt on the renovation of the Oak Ridge High School. (Submitted photo)

The Oak Ridge Public Schools Education Foundation recently made its eighth annual contribution for the rebuilding and renovation of Oak Ridge High School, a project that was completed in 2008.

In November, Lila Metcalf, the foundation’s executive director, presented a check for $402,611 to Oak Ridge City Manager Mark Watson to assist in the high school debt repayment. Since the payments began in 2005, the Education Foundation has presented the city with more than $3.5 million for the high school.

The Education Foundation raised $8 million in private funds for the high school, and that money provided the leverage for special bonds available for public schools. Together, the private funds and bonds provided the final piece of funding that made the renovation of Oak Ridge High School possible.

[Read more…]

Guest column: Education Foundation seeks to raise $500,000 for teaching grants

In the past seven years, the Oak Ridge Public Schools Education Foundation has awarded more than $322,000 in grants to more than 100 teachers. Because of the grants, at-risk readers are discovering the joy of reading through Kindles. Students are practicing a variety of skills using clicker response systems that provide teachers immediate feedback on what they’ve learned. Special needs students using iPads are pursuing new paths to learn reading comprehension skills.

With these grants, teachers are advancing learning with technology and equipment that wouldn’t be available otherwise in areas of science, art, music, special needs, the manufacturing academy, and foreign language, among others. The Education Foundation’s grants program does not replace public funding, but provides resources over and above what tax dollars are able to fund. It is an investment in our children and educational excellence.

[Read more…]