The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

November 7, 2012

Kremlin-Hillsdale foundation passes out grant funds to teachers

By Phyllis Zorn, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — It was a little like a surprise from Publisher’s Clearing House when four visitors walked into Heather Russell’s fourth-grade classroom Wednesday afternoon.

Leland Streck, Joyce Fales, Kristi Hilburn and Beverly Voth came bearing a gift — a certificate reading that Russell had been awarded $810 to purchase a “Typing to Learn” program for students at Kremlin-Hillsdale Elementary School.

The award was from the Kremlin-Hillsdale Academic Enrichment Foundation, which passed out $11,200 in teacher grants Wednesday.

“Typing to Learn” is a computer program focusing on teaching students proper keyboard fingering with an emphasis on accuracy and speed.

“With the future of education turning to core curriculum, I believe it is very important that our students learn to type effectively,” Russell wrote in her application for funds. “Testing will become computer-based and I feel our kids will have more confidence for testing if they start learning typing skills now.”

The students listened to Streck explain who they were and why they had interrupted the day’s lessons, then burst into applause and cheers.

When the four made their way to Gina Pekrul’s classroom to give her an award to buy iPads, her students burst into a chant of “hip, hip, hooray, hip, hip, hooray.”

Foundation members handed out 12 grants, one to each teacher who applied. Half the money raised each year is added to a sustaining fund and the other half used directly for grants.

“This is two years in a row we’ve been able to award all of them,” Streck said.

Other grants were: Heather Carson, $616 for math manipulatives; Deanna Chesser, $995 for dictionaries, thesauruses and a cart; Chelsea Edington, $991 for dictionaries, thesauruses, a DVD and a cart; Brady Bond, $849 for a SMART document camera; Kelsey Smith, $644 for pull-down wall maps; Diane Highfill and Janel Powell, $1,502 for Study Island programs; Roger Gossen, $987 for calculators for upper-level math and science classes; Kaylene Toelle, $999 for 25 student melodicas; David Campbell, $831 for stereoscopic microscopes; and Jamelyn Schultz, $1,000 to purchase Oklahoma Sequoyah Award books.