Diamonds in the RoughChickasha Public Schools Foundation
|Fifth-grader Kayla Myers of Southwest Elementary School in Chickasha is matched up with Mary Lee, senior vice president of Chickasha Bank & Trust, during the Diamonds in the Rough Luncheon.|
The event also included a keynote address by Lt. Gov. Jari Askins about careers and goal setting, as well as a presentation by an etiquette expert. “Fifth grade is such an awkward age, thus the title Diamonds in the Rough,” said Lou Christian, executive director of the Chickasha Public School Foundation. She added that for many of the students the event was their first opportunity to attend a formal meal and learn about etiquette. “Overall, it was an incredible day and an opportunity for our community to convey to these students how important they are to our future.” At the conclusion of the program, each girl received a “diamond” and a pair of sunglasses as a keepsake. “The last thing we told them was that their futures are so bright they would need ‘shades’ to see it” Christian said.
|Grove Middle School students grow their own plants in a greenhouse that was funded by the Grove Education Foundation for Excellence. Each spring, their plants are sold to help raise funds for the middle school science program.|
The Grove Education Foundation for Excellence (GEFFE) planted seeds in 2001 that continue to produce a great harvest for the science program at Grove Middle School. That year, the foundation awarded a $9,438 grant for a project titled “How Does Your Garden Grow,” providing funds to build a GEFFE Greenhouse outside the Grove Middle School science classrooms. This school year, sixth-graders learned about plant reproduction by planting geraniums and begonias from seed, ferns from cuttings and heirloom tomatoes. The green house not only provides a living laboratory for students to grow their own plants and do hands-on science projects, but it also provides a long-term opportunity to help support the school science budget through an annual plant sale.
“It’s like getting a grant every year,” said science teacher Ed Trumbull. “Proceeds from our spring plant sale provide up to $2,000 each year to help fund our science fair and lab materials.” Trumbull says he keeps a surplus in his program budget to replace parts and maintain the greenhouse. The annual middle school plant sale is promoted by the local newspaper and radio station, as well as mass emails from Trumbull. He said some customers return each year to share cuttings for students to propagate new plants. “The plant sale has been a huge boost to our science program,” Trumbull said. “We would not have a budget for our middle school science program if it weren’t for proceeds from the annual plant sale and GEFFE grants to teachers. We really appreciate all that GEFFE has done for us.”
|Capitol Hill High School’s Robotics Team put their “game faces” on as they prepare to compete in the FIRST Robotics Competition, thanks to the support of the Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools’ Competitive Edge Grants.|
Following competitions, teachers complete evaluations to help track results and measure student outcomes. Foundation trustee Helen Sullivan said the Competitive Edge Program encourages academic excellence by helping students apply what they learn in the classroom and receive critical feedback for improvement. It also provides a benchmark for students to compare their performance with others outside the district. “By ensuring that students have the opportunity to compete, Competitive Edge plays a critical role in positioning Oklahoma City Public Schools to receive top honors and build pride in our district,” she said.