Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

January 8, 2014

Smiles big for teacher grants

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat — Smiles are typically pretty big for Pauls Valley and Whitebead teachers when they’re handed extra money to help their students.

With school back in session after the holiday break many of those teachers will move forward with the latest round of grants given out by the PV Foundation for Academic Excellence.

A wide range of projects have again been given the thumbs up as more than $14,500 was distributed by the foundation to teachers at all five PV schools and nearby Whitebead.

In each case teachers are given a little extra money to offer a little extra to the instruction of their students.

It’s a win-win scenario that warms the heart for foundation board members giving out the grant money.

“This gives them the opportunity to get funding for these projects that otherwise they might not get,” said board President Greg Hendrix.

“That’s an obvious positive to me.”

“It’s great to see these teacher go above and beyond to help their students,” said Richelle Humphrey, chairperson for the grant committee.”

She described most of the grant proposals this year as either “hands-on” projects or field trips.

“Some of the teachers told us they like these grants because it goes for projects their kids will remember,” Humphrey said.

“They remember them because they’re hands-on and they’re excited about that.”

Humphrey is also impressed with the teachers who submitted and got approval for multiple projects.

The way it works is local teachers submit an application for a project they have planned for their students. It includes a summary of the project and a specific funding total being requested.

From there a foundation committee reviews each one and narrows them down to a list of those approved for funding.

Hendrix says the process to select grant projects is done without committee members knowing the name of the teachers submitting the proposals.

“All we know is what they want to do, how much they’re asking for and the ages of the students,” he said.

For Hendrix the big thing is the number of students taking part in each project.

“I look for the projects that touch more students. I think that’s important.”

The foundation also gives out a number of scholarships to graduating PV seniors each year.