Schools foundation delivers $20,000 to Cape educators

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Louis Armstrong couldn't have been crooning a more appropriate song through the speakers in the Central High School library Wednesday morning.

With "What a Wonderful World" playing in the background, librarian Julia Jorgensen received a check for $2,000 from the Cape Girardeau Public Schools Foundation.

The foundation "prize patrol" visited schools throughout the district Wednesday to surprise teachers who were chosen for the foundation's "great ideas" teaching grants this spring.

The grants, which totaled more than $20,400, were awarded to teachers and academic departments at Central High School, Central Junior High School, the Cape Girardeau Career and Technology Center, Alma Schrader Elementary and Clippard Elementary.

This is the foundation's first round of grants. Twenty-eight teachers applied, and the applications were narrowed down by foundation board members.

The organization plans to award the grants twice a year, executive director Angie Bender said. The next round will take place this fall.

"We want teachers to be as creative as possible, while following their curriculum guidelines, to get students excited about learning," Bender said.

At Central High School, Jorgensen's grant will go toward professional development for teachers and after-school programs targeting black students.

"We're hoping to learn new and innovative ways to work with our African-American students" Jorgensen said. "We recognize that not all African-American students are achieving at the level of our Caucasian students, and quite frankly, we're embarrassed about that."

Other teachers to receive the grants were:

* Sarah Steska at Alma Schrader received $3,000 for books to enhance the Balanced Literacy program.

Clippard Elementary

* Teri Jones at Clippard received $551 for the Marathon Kids Club, which has students read 26 books, do 26 good deeds and run 26.2 miles.

* Debbie Kyle and Matthew Kiesling received $1,625 to purchase drums for the music programs at Clippard, Alma Schrader and Jefferson schools.

* Missy Ashby at Clippard received $3,000 for books for the Balanced Literacy program.

* Jill Wittenborn, Teresa Williams, Lyndora Hughes at Clippard received $2,400 to hold family reading nights

* Diana Valleroy of Central Middle School received $1,985 for the "Where in the World is My Science Project" program for sixth-graders.

* Nancy Bone of Central Junior High received $980 to hold a local Science Olympiad.

* Libby Guilliams of the Career and Technology Center received $1,000 for professional development days for students to learn job-related skills.

* Rene Pingel of Central High School received $550 for keyboarding software

* Robin Hankinson and all other foreign language teachers at Central High School received $3,318 for the Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling program's professional development and materials.

335-6611, extension 128

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