At our 2017 Annual Celebration, HCCF announced a "surprise" grant round for our county's educators. We dubbed this $500 mini-grant opportunity our Back to School Grant. 64 teachers from across the county submitted their answer to the following question--
What would you do with an extra $500 for your classroom?
Answers ranged from school supplies to snacks, archery equipment to flexible seating, and literacy initiatives to push-up buzzers. Our Grantmaking Committee had the incredibly difficult task of choosing one teacher to receive the $500 grant. Thanks to an anonymous gift to the Price Family Fund, the award was doubled, allowing the Grantmaking Committee to choose two educators to receive their $500 wishes.
Our two Back to School Grant recipients are Vicki Yackle of Bad Axe Public Schools and Amy Smithers of EPBP Laker Elementary! Mrs. Yackle will be adding a hydroponics growing system to her classroom and Mrs. Smithers' students will be published authors by the end of 3rd grade. Read their full paragraphs below. Thank you to all of our educators for your tireless work of educating the next generation! We appreciate all you do!
If I were to be granted $500 to spend on school supplies, I would buy a dutch bucket hydroponics system, pH solution, and a new pH tester for for my botany students. This system include 4 individual hydroponic units with separate nutrient tanks and pumps so the students could run a control and 3 experiments for tomato growth all year round. Then the produce would be used in class to teach the students how to make homemade salsa and tomato sauce. It could also be used in our cafeteria salad bar. My goal in introducing hydroponics into our curriculum is to encourage healthy eating in a fun way. Many of my students did not realize that tomatoes when grown indoors actually have a 10 month growing cycle until we discussed this project in class. I currently have grow lights in my room so adding this system would greatly expand their hands-on opportunities in our plant science curriculum.
My name is Amy Smithers. I teach 3rd grade at Laker Elementary School. If I were to be awarded the "Back to School" Grant of $500.00 I would put the money toward a student book publishing project. I would love for each of my students to be able to work on one published piece of writing per month that then could be put into their very own bound, hard cover published book for them to keep. Imagine how exciting it would be for students to know that all of their published writing could be placed in their very own hard cover book! Student motivation to write and to become a better writer would increase. The company that I would use to publish the books is called "Student Treasures Publishing". I would also need to purchase a variety of Sharpie markers to meet the illustration requirement from the publishing company. I appreciate this opportunity to apply for such an amazing grant!