Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

Local News

November 1, 2012

Paoli to experience ‘Odyssey’ through grant

emann@pvdemocrat.com — Thinking outside of the box is often a phrase promoted by many educators across the country, and as funding continues to be tight, paying for the tools to teach often inspires creative ideas there as well.

So when Paoli High School principal David Morris and English teacher Donna Milligan learned OG&E would be looking for class projects to award their $1,000 grants to, it was an easy decision to apply.

Much to their excitement, Milligan’s proposal of the “Exploration of Homer’s works and Reenactment of the Odyssey” was recently chosen and will immediately pay dividends for the 2012-2013 school year.

“We’re extremely proud of that,” said Morris. “Plus it feels good to work with the community like that.”

Though this is the first time this specific grant has come to the Pugs, it is actually the third time for Morris to have one of his teachers receive the honor.

Annually given to 37 teachers across the electric company’s coverage area, he witnessed two other educational projects benefit when he was at another school district.

In order to apply for the grant, Milligan put together her overall lesson plan to dive into the world of Homer’s Odyssey through the reading and discussion of the book.

Morris then took her plan and wrote the grant proposal, which was actually one out of two he wrote along side a science class proposal that was not chosen.

“It was a collaborative effort between Mrs. Milligan and myself,” said Morris. “We’re just excited to give her those materials.”

Milligan’s in-depth study also plans to use a series of art projects and reenactments to act out particular passages in what will primarily be her speech class. The grant will pay for new books for the whole class as well as some of the materials used for the more visual aspects.

According to a press release from OG&E, the Teacher Grant Program has funded more than 300 projects since it started in 2003. It is available to public school teachers from pre-K through 12th grade and are usually available at the beginning of a calendar year with most of them used for the next year.

“It’s bringing in materials she’d otherwise not receive,” said Morris.

“A lot of people don’t think that’s a lot of money, but for a rural school it is.”

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