Friday, April 18, 2014

CenturyLink Foundation Awards Idaho Teachers More Than $50,000 in Grants

Representatives from CenturyLink, Inc. surprised 11 teachers across Idaho in recent weeks with awards from the CenturyLink Clarke M. Williams Foundation’s Teachers and Technology grant program, administered by the Idaho State Department of Education.

The program, which has been offered in Idaho since 2005, awards grants to schools in CenturyLink’s local service areas on behalf of teachers who have developed specific plans to innovatively implement technology in their classroom. Over the last nine years, approximately $650,000 has been awarded to Idaho schools to purchase technology for their classrooms.

In recent weeks, CenturyLink’s Vice President and General Manager for Idaho, Jim Schmit, has surprised the winning teachers by showing up at their schools with the grant awards. Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna and representatives from the Department joined him on many of these visits. 

Superintendent Luna and Jim Schmit of CenturyLink award teacher Julie Clark at Lapwai Elementary with a technology grant for her classroom.

“We are very pleased to be a part of providing innovative technology in the classroom that enhances the learning experience for students in these schools,” said Schmit. “It is exciting to see teachers implement creative teaching techniques that assist students in hands-on learning.”

Teachers at schools in Lapwai, Meridian, Middleton, Glenns Ferry, Jerome, Pocatello and Leadore all won grants this year. Twenty-two teachers applied for grants, with 11 winners selected by a review committee comprised of community members and a CenturyLink representative. The winning teachers’ schools each received a grant to be used by the teachers to purchase technology to benefit students in the classroom.

“These teachers know and understand the important role technology can play in the classroom to help individualize instruction and raise academic achievement for every student,” said Superintendent Luna. “I am grateful to the CenturyLink Foundation for its continued commitment to Idaho’s teachers and students every year as they work to bring these innovative ideas to life and create a 21st century classroom in every school.”

Here is a summary of the award winners:
  • Lapwai Elementary School was awarded approximately $4,800 to purchase 15 Chromebooks and protective covers. These will be used in the 4th grade to teach history, language arts, reading, math and science. Lapwai Elementary Success For All Reading Program Coordinator Julie Clark submitted the project.
  • Mountain View High School was awarded $5,000 to purchase 96 student Clickers and the associated application. Teacher Donald R Eberlin, Jr. submitted the project.
  • Prospect Elementary was awarded $4,747 to purchase 11 iPad minis. These iPad minis will give fourth and fifth grade students the opportunity to practice math facts using applications which are timed, requiring them to think and finish quickly. For language arts, applications will be available to students which will reinforce basic word identification and spelling as well as suffix and prefix understanding and application of the words. Teachers Carolyn K. Brenner and Michelle Mayfield submitted the project.
  • Pioneer School of the Arts won two grant awards. Teacher Molly Stump was awarded $4,995 to purchase nine Lenovo Thinkpad Laptops. These laptops will be used by the fourth grade class on a daily basis for technology-based learning experiences in the classroom. This will help increase student engagement, productivity, and achievement. Teacher Kimberly Brown was also awarded $2,550 to purchase five iPads, accessories and an Apple TV. Students will have the opportunity to create digital stories, conduct animal research and present their animal reports to peers and parents. They will also be used in the reading and math instructional centers.
  • Middleton Heights Elementary was awarded $5,000 to purchase 10 iPad minis, a MacBook Pro and a charging cart for a mobile learning lab. This mobile learning lab will transform and redefine current writing instruction, addressing the needs and learning styles of 21st Century students. Teacher Jayna Eichelberger submitted the project.
  • Glenns Ferry Elementary School won two grant awards. Teacher Stacie Polland was awarded $4,978 to purchase 14 laptops and a mobile charging station. The laptops will be used by teachers to move towards text-based writing and expand their texts to include audio, video, and pictorial or graphic texts.  Teacher Lynnette Jennings was also awarded $5,000 to purchase 13 iPad Minis, an iPad Air and an Apple TV. First graders will now be able to use Doodle Buddy instead of a lapboard and markers. They will also have the opportunity to use different math apps such as Motion Math and Splash Math and will analyze, create and publish writing using digital tools like Quick Office and Explain Everything. The Apple TV will allow for the students to share their screens instantly with other students.
  • Jerome Middle School was awarded $4,872 to purchase 13 laptops and a charging cart.  The laptops will enable each student access to a computer to conduct research and publish an innovative project of their choice. Teacher Miriam Brown submitted the project.
  • Pocatello Community Charter School was awarded $4,900 to purchase 12 Chrome books, two scanners and a storage cart. Seventh and eighth grade students will have the opportunity to increase their computer literacy and then share their new knowledge by mentoring younger students. Students will generate electronic portfolios showing their best work utilizing Prezi and Google Docs. Teacher Cara Sonnemann submitted the project.
  • Leadore School was awarded $4,949 to purchase equipment and materials with which students will have the opportunity to build 3D models. Students will gain a basic understanding of engineering principles while applying science and math skills learned in their other classes. Teacher Kevin Ramsey submitted the project.
Congratulations to all the teachers who won this year! More information on the grant and the Department’s continued partnership with CenturyLink is available online our website.

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