By Dena Martin
The Times 

Touchet Valley Teachers are grateful for School Retirees mini-grants

School Retirees support teachers and students with mini-grants and scholarships

 

March 14, 2019

Laura Chabre

Prescott teacher Laura Chabre's 6th grade students enjoy reading some of the new books Chabre purchased with her School Retirees mini grant award. Chabra was able to stretch her budget to add 56 books to her library with the $200 enrichment grant.

WALLA WALLA/COLUMBIA COUNTIES – Area students and teachers are often the pleased recipients of scholarships and mini-grants, also known as enrichment grants, from the Walla Walla-Columbia School Retirees Association.

The main fundraiser for the group is the annual Teddy Bear Tea held each February in Walla Walla. Last month's fundraiser served 341 guests and estimated profits of $3,500 will be used for grants and scholarships.

"Winners of the handcrafted, mink teddy bear raffle were Beth Flannigan of Walla Walla and Kelly Zuger of Waitsburg. We were lucky as Friday and Sunday, the weather was awful, but on that Saturday we had sunshine," said WWCSRA member Joan Helm.

In February, several Waitsburg, Dayton and Prescott teachers received $200 mini grants. Each recipient is free to use the grant money as they best see fit. All were grateful for the grants which were used in wide variety of ways.

Prescott special education Sarah Pearson was grateful to make new purchases and replace broken items. "Receiving the Walla Walla-Columbia School Retirees mini-grant was quite an honor and surprise! I currently have a couple of students who have sensory processing difficulties as well as a few who are cognitively low. With the mini-grant, I was able to purchase a few sensory friendly items as well as high interest reading materials for my lower students. Additionally, I was able to purchase some equipment for our self-contained classroom to replace old and broken items. Without this mini-grant, purchasing these items would not have been possible. I would like to thank the Walla Walla-Columbia School Retirees Association for their support of my program and students!" Pearson said.


Waitsburg high school teacher Nancy Bickelhaupt will use her grant to supplement curriculum project needs and purchase new curriculum pieces to use in the classroom. "I also use it for things like treats at FCCLA meetings and prizes for the classroom. In addition, when I have guest speakers, I purchase a little thank-you gift for them. They don't sound like very exciting purchases but they are all things that usually come out of my pocketbook so it is nice to receive a grant once-in-a-while," Bickelhaupt said.

Waitsburg high school English teacher Liv Leid used the grant to purchase novels for her classroom.

Prescott sixth grade teacher Laura Chabre stretched her dollars to purchase many new books for her classroom library. "My 6th grade students were most excited to learn that Jeff Kinney's 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' Series, Rick Riordan's 'Percy Jackson & the Olympians' series and the 'Zodiac Legacy' books by Stan Lee & Stuart Moore would be available for them to read in our classroom. I was able to purchase a large quantity of books (56 total) for the $200 I was granted because I ordered them from the First Book Marketplace, which is a wonderful resource for teachers at Title 1 schools. Their prices per book are extremely inexpensive, which has helped teachers like me build up our classroom libraries without breaking the bank," Chabre said.

Prescott secondary teacher and Athletic Director Jeff Foertsch contributed his funds to the Jack Smiley Memorial Scholarship which gives $1,000 to a graduating senior at Prescott each year.

Dayton elementary teacher Polla Laib used her funds to buy a compact disc listening center for her classroom and two packages of laminating sheets for her Scotch laminator. "I appreciate all the support the Walla Walla-Columbia School Retiree's organization gives to our area schools. These grants are so helpful to receive because most people don't realize how much money teachers spend on their classrooms each year," Laib said.

 

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