2009-04-09 / Front Page

Grants total nearly $60,000

BY MARY HENKEL JUDSON SOUTH JETTY EDITOR

STAFF PHOTOS BY JUDY K. KRANTZ STAFF PHOTOS BY JUDY K. KRANTZ With the grants awarded Friday, April 3, the Port Aransas Education Foundation has now presented a total of $135,000 to Port Aransas Independent School District teachers and faculty in the last three years.

At an assembly Friday, 28 grants were presented. Students, teachers and administrators from all three campuses attended the event in the Doyle Marek Gym at Port Aransas High School.

Janice Roberts, president of the foundation, said, "The grant awards ceremony this year was a blast. Having the entire school campus come together added to the excitement of giving away the grants."

"Everyone was so appreciative, and as always, it was so much fun to award the grants. We received some great requests this year, and will continue to work hard to make this event possible every year," Roberts said.

"Thank you to all of our supporters for trusting us to make this great event happen every year. We have several events scheduled in the near future that will hopefully add to our funds for next year," she said.

Grant day It was a big day Friday, April 3, when nearly $60,000 in grants were awarded by the Port Aransas Education Foundation to teachers and faculty at the Port Aransas ISD. TOP: Students got into the spirit. BELOW: Education foundation president Janice Roberts hugs recipient Leif Johnson. LEFT: District nurse Melissa Ramsden smiles at foundation member Michelle Sowers. TOP LEFT: Foundation member Mike Hall, left, gives high fives to recipient Paul Balcom, and foundation member Beth Owens is in the background. Grant day It was a big day Friday, April 3, when nearly $60,000 in grants were awarded by the Port Aransas Education Foundation to teachers and faculty at the Port Aransas ISD. TOP: Students got into the spirit. BELOW: Education foundation president Janice Roberts hugs recipient Leif Johnson. LEFT: District nurse Melissa Ramsden smiles at foundation member Michelle Sowers. TOP LEFT: Foundation member Mike Hall, left, gives high fives to recipient Paul Balcom, and foundation member Beth Owens is in the background. The 28 grants amounted to $57,458.22, and ranged from $295 to $9,947.

One of the smaller grants was awarded to H.G. Olsen Elementary School first grade teacher Ginny Shaw.

Shaw asked for and received just under $300 to attend a workshop on Café Literacy.

Café is an acronym for Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency, and Expanding Vocabulary. It is a method of approaching literacy instruction "very directly teaching and assessing all the 'infrastructure' that children need to become great readers," Shaw said.

The workshop and associated books are the brainchild of two sisters, Gail Boushey and Joan Moser. Shaw discovered their first book, "The Daily 5," during her summer reading last year, and implemented the "Daily 5" approach this year.

"I like what it has done for the readers in my classroom," Shaw said. "I always like to keep up with what is new in classrooms around the country, and Daily 5 and Cafe Literacy is one of the very hot topics right now. It really teaches children to be independent as readers and learners, and I love that."

Shaw will attend the Cafe Literacy Workshop in San Antonio in September.

"I can't wait. I just wish it was before the new school year so I could get to work implementing it straight away," Shaw said.

On the other end of the scale, district technology coordinator Leif Johnson received the largest grant at nearly $10,000, primarily for laptop computers.

"Port Aransas ISD has always been a leader in technology among school districts in the Coastal Bend. I am so appreciative of the support that our community gives to our students. This grant will enable our kids access to superior technology in a way that will enhance their academic achievement. All the students and staff want to thank PAEF for their commitment to our students," Johnson said.

A $2,500 grant was awarded to Brundrett Middle School social studies/ history teacher Kristi Longanecker to send next year's eighth graders to Washington, D.C.

"This grant will help the next group tremendously! We have a great starting point that will motivate the kids and parents to raise as much money as they can," Longanecker said.

The recipients, grant amounts and descriptions are as follows:

H.G. Olsen Elementary School

• Sylvia Buttler, principal: Four field trips per grade level from pre-kindergarten through fifth for 2009-2010, $4,362.50

• Julie Findley, fifth grade: Funding two teams in the Great Texas Birding classic in 2010,

$300.

• Ashley Boies, second grade: One interactive whiteboard to facilitate interactive learning, $1,795.

• Heather Collins, second grade: One interactive whiteboard to facilitate interactive learning, $1,795.

• Ginny Shaw, first grade: One day Café Classroom Workshop - Café is an acronym for Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency, and Expanding Vocabulary, $295.

• Dana Scott, third grade: Two laptop computers for third grade classes, $1,534.

• Gay DeMontel, music teacher for pre-kindergarten through fifth grade: Fifth grade symphony field trip, $1,300.

Brundrett Middle School

• Paul Balcom, seventh and eighth grade reading teacher: Reading labs and reading material: $1,000.

• Patt Coeckelenbergh, librarian: Reference materials including a set of 1010 Encyclopedia Britannica, New World Atlas, Student World Atlas and DVD, $1,345.

• Kristi Longanecker, social studies/ history teacher: Eighth grade trip to Washington D.C. for June 2010, $2,500.

• Terence Davidson, special education teacher: Quizdom Connect Q4 interactive remote pesenter allowing interaction with students, $3,267.43

Port Aransas High School

• Randell Buttler, industrial arts teacher: Tools and safety equipment for the industrial arts shop and vocational technology class/upgrade welding equipment, $4,933.

• Peter Barello, social studies teacher: Interwrite pads and PowerPoint slides and geographical information systems, $4,253.77.

• Laurie Barello, math and chemistry: NASA Space Center, Houston, field trip and enhancement of chemistry lab, $2,677.41.

• Jill Smith, teacher: Interactive resources and tutorial assistance for science students and teacher workshop at The University of Texas McDonald Observatory, $2,092.13.

• Bill Slingerland, science, math and social studies teacher: Dissection materials for biology and aquatic science class, $1,500.

• Nona Hendricks and Mike Jones, math teachers: Algebra and geometry professional development workshops, $3,000.

• Thomas McHenry, art teacher: Art room equipment and materials, $785.

• Melanie Mayer, English teacher: National Council of Teachers of English Convention, $1,000.

• Gary Mott, English and theater arts: Teacher certification for emergency telecommunication including 911 operator, $1,500.

District-wide

• Marilyn Cook, district dyslexia specialist and RTI teacher for reading kindergarten through fifth grade: Attend "All Kinds of Minds" institute and provide funds for book study club for elementary and middle school students, $1,800.98.

• Leif Johnson, district technology coordinator: Purchase 27 Acer Aspire mini laptop computers and one Linksys wireless access point, $9,947.

• Melissa Ramsden, district nurse: Purchase "Alcohol-Wise" online alcohol education course for high school students, $4,475.

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