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Web exclusive: Pickerington grants encourage innovative learning
The traditional methods of education where a child sits in a classroom watching a teacher write on a blackboard have fallen by the wayside.
Now, more innovative teaching practices are encouraged. Children not only actively participate in classroom activities, but also creatively learn in an environment much different than years past.
At its annual Awarding Excellence Banquet May 2, the Pickerington Educational Foundation (PEF) recognized teachers in the district who have implemented innovative teaching methods. The foundation awarded $4,880 to 13 grant recipients.
“Teachers oftentimes buy their own classroom supplies,” said Kathy Kelly-Long, president of the PEF board of directors. “We didn’t want that to be the only way to bring enhancements in the school.”
PEF, a permanent public charity, provides grants to “enrich, enhance and support the education process in the Pickerington Local School District so that every student can achieve his/her full potential,” Kelly-Long said.
Teachers and staff throughout the district submit grant applications to the foundation each fall. The grants are then awarded in the spring.
To date, PEF has awarded 78 classroom grants and two district-wide grants for a total of $21,153 since its establishment in 2004.
“Through our grants we feel we can have the most impact in the classrooms or district-wide,” Kelly-Long said.
One of this year’s recipients, Heritage Elementary School counselor Kelli Saksa, is bringing her idea to an entire community.
With her “We are Bucket Fillers” program, students in Heritage Elementary are learning positive life choices. The school will catch individuals in the act of doing good and give monthly awards to students, staff members and community members.
“Not only does it show your students positive behavior, it shows how it continues throughout your life,” Kelly-Long said.
Grants range from about $75 to $2,000 with the average amount $100 to $200. Funds for the awards come from direct donations, as well as the PEF annual “Fashion with Class” fashion show and gift basket raffle held in the fall each year.
In addition to its recent awards ceremony, PEF also has kicked off its first annual capital campaign with the goal of raising $10,000.
“All our schools do the best they can to provide the best for our children,” Kelly-Long said. “We want to keep the quality high.”
Those interested in giving their tax-deductible donations can send checks via mail to the Pickerington Education Foundation, PO Box 817, Pickerington, OH 43147. Donations also will be accepted via the website at pickeringtoneducationfoundation.com in the near future.
Those interested in giving or who have questions can contact Kathy Kelly-Long at (614) 203-2544.
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