The Oak Ridge Public Schools Education Foundation presented a check for $81,000 to the Oak Ridge Schools at the Foundation’s award ceremony Friday evening. The funds will be used to provide a variety of educational materials in each of the city’s seven public schools.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory Director and Foundation Chair Thom Mason told an audience of more than 150 attending the event that the gift was part of the Foundation’s “Making a Critical Difference” campaign that provides teachers small grants for teaching tools not available in the city’s education budget. Mason said that, since the program began in 2004, the Foundation has awarded a total of more than $408,000 to dozens of teachers in every grade.
Mason emphasized that the grants are not intended for salaries or to replace items that may have been cut from the schools’ annual budget.
“The program’s purpose is to identify ways in which a small grant can help teachers make a critical difference in the learning opportunities for their students,” he said.
The Foundation awarded 13 grants for the 2013-2014 school year. The grants were selected on a competitive basis from among dozens of proposals from teachers. The winning proposals requested funding for materials and equipment in courses such as chemistry, physics, math, geography, welding, music, and special education.
This year’s grants were presented by Cathy Toth, chair of the Foundation’s campaign. Toth thanked the “hundreds of individuals and dozens of companies who together are helping to sustain one of the greatest assets in the Oak Ridge community.”
The ceremony’s keynote speaker was Dr. Deirdre Barrett, an author, psychologist at Harvard Medical School, and graduate of Oak Ridge High School. Music was provided by the Oak Ridge High School Jazz Ensemble and Michelle Hairston.
People wishing to donate to the Oak Ridge Public Schools Education Foundation may contact Lila Metcalf at (865) 241-3667.
2013-2014 Grant Award Recipients
- Eddie Anderson—chemistry equipment
- Sharon Thomas—digital microscope cameras
- Brian Smith—GPS equipment
- Spence Milligan—symphonic chimes
- Heather Henderlight—iPads and support equipment
- Deni Sobek—Advanced Placement study materials
- Janie Shanafield—FIRST LEGO League equipment
- Emily Sheppeard—speech therapy biofeedback tools
- Matthew Perkins, Betsy Hondorf—thermodynamics laboratory equipment
- Jeff Hankins—welding DVDs
- Angela Leach, Leigh Monger, and Jackie Laney—special education ActiviTables
- Linda Dalton, Bevelene Wallen—math manipulatives
- Scot Smith—e-Readers and e-Books