As Bartlesville Public Schools approach the halfway point in the school year, the BPS Foundation has already awarded 20 grants to teachers, totaling $41,151 in approved funds. To date, the grants have included many professional development opportunities, several visits from experts, numerous classroom and science grants, as well as one performing arts grant.
This year, the Foundation has seen a significant increase in the demand for these Grants to Educators – primarily in the Professional Growth grant category. Foundation Executive Director, Blair Ellis, attributes this increase to several factors: “[o]ur teachers have a better understanding of what resources the Foundation has available, thanks to strategic outreach by Foundation staff and board members, school administrators, and teacher ambassadors for the Foundation. In addition, with changing student needs and developing technology, our educators need more tools to maintain the level of excellence our community has come to expect from Bartlesville. The Foundation is thrilled to support our teachers, students, and schools with these opportunities.”
This year, the BPSF provided science and classroom grants to support the Bartlesville High School fine arts program, robots for our elementary students, reading initiatives, physics experiments, and much more. Julie Giovanetti plans to teach her students the art of weaving. Tonya Knollmeyer was awarded a grant for new rotational motion lab equipment for her AP Physics students. With Kristin Flick’s proposal for every student at Wayside Elementary to get their own copy of “Sideways Stories from Wayside School” and a corresponding curriculum, students will develop a love of reading by enjoying a book as a collective school.
Earlier this fall, the Foundation funded an experts grant to send high school students and secondary art teachers to Woolaroc for the day to interact with a visiting artist in residence, Scott Burdick. More recently, the Foundation also funded a visit by 2007 Bartlesville alum, Taylor Doe, who gave his TED talk about unlocking opportunities for success to high school students.
The professional growth grants have ranged from supporting professional development for school counselors and librarians, to sending geography teachers to South Carolina for innovative curriculum ideas, to supporting teachers in their efforts to engage students each day in the classroom.
All of the grants funded were made possible by the generous, local donors. The Foundation expects the demand for these teacher grants to continue to grow and has plans to increase its budget for this program.
For more stories about how Foundation grants empower teachers, engage students, and enrich learning across the District, or for information on how you can support these programs, contact BPSF executive director, Blair Ellis at 918-336-8600 ext 3523 or visit the BPSF’s website at bpsfoundation.org.