TEACHER GRANTS: High School chemistry teacher Kristi Green was one of three high school teachers to receive a teacher grant from the Owasso Education Foundation (OEF) in November. The three high school teachers received a total of nearly $4,700 as part of OEF’s Grants to Teachers program.
On Nov. 11, representatives with the Owasso Education Foundation (OEF) presented Owasso Public Schools educators with $41,000 in teacher grants.
OEF visited teachers at the High School, Mid-High, Ram Academy, the Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Grade centers, and Ator, Smith, Barnes, Bailey, Hodson, and Stone Canyon Elementary schools.
The Grants to Teachers program provides supplemental funding to teachers in order to provide additional student educational opportunities. Grants are chosen based on factors such as the number of students impacted, the length of impact, cost, encouragement of creative learning and integration of technology in the classroom.
During the previous school year, OEF gave a total of $96,000 in grants. A second round of teacher grants will be given in the spring.
Much of OEF’s funding comes through its fundraising events. In October, OEF held a fundraising event at Kendra Scott Jewelry in Utica Square in Tulsa. The foundation’s two largest fundraisers are its Holiday Home Tour, which was held Dec. 2, and the Patriot Classic Golf Tournament, taking place in May.
The three teachers at the High School to receive grants were chemistry teacher Kristi Green, AP World History teacher Gregory Yankey and media specialist Melinda Gallagher.
For Green, her chemistry grant will allow her to purchase chemistry charts and games that will better enable her students to learn periodic trends.
Yankey’s grant is for an Advanced Placement preparation book “that follows more closely the objectives and course outline of the College Board’s AP world history course,” he wrote in his grant application.
Gallagher will use her grant to further the creative space that she created in an area of the High School library that used to be a computer lab.
The grant money will be used to purchase a mobile, Clear Touch Interactive panel that will allow students to create and collaborate in new ways, Gallagher says.
Gallagher has spent the past year working to create this creative/maker’s space. In November, she and students held an open house to show off the finished product, although Gallagher plans to keep adding equipment as funding allows, including a virtual reality headset and gaming computer.
Currently, the space includes a 3D printer, a vinyl cutter, a sewing and embroidery machine, art pads, an audiobox, a green screen and camera, circuitry kits, Autodesk and Adobe Suite software, and more.
In addition to funding received from OEF, Gallagher has also received donations from the community and grants from Donor’s Choose, Best Buy and Wal-Mart.
“Everything you see in this space is done by students,” says Gallagher. “They designed our logo, they have created all the art; eventually, they are going to do a mural on one of the space’s walls.
“The focus of this space is to expose students to new technologies, creative outlets, career exploration, and STEM-related activities.”