"It was very difficult to decide on the recipients this year," said Mary Cupps, CEF chairperson. "I wish we had more money so we would have more to give. Hopefully, in the future we will."
The largest CEF grant awarded this year was in the amount of $650. The funds will be used to purchase science books to help meet Common Core Standards. The grant was awarded to second grade teachers Rob Bredeson, Julie Chappell and Janna Hightower.
The Common Core Standards Initiative is a state-led effort coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers. The standards, which provide a clear and consistent framework to prepare children for college or the workforce, were developed in collaboration with teachers, school administrators and experts.
The Common Core Standards were launched in June of 2010.
Grant funds for document cameras were also awarded to two teachers. Stephanie Pendergraft, Cassville Middle School seventh grade teacher, received a $200 grant to purchase one camera, and Wendy Miekley, Cassville Intermediate School fifth grade teacher, received a $600 grant to purchase cameras for the third, fourth and fifth grade reading pilot program.
Document cameras, which are also known as image presenters, magnify and project images of actual, three-dimensional objects or transparencies.
The Cassville Education Fund is a permanent endowment for funding education needs that exceed the Cassville R-4 School District's operating budget. The fund was founded with a $2,000 donation from Lucille Johnston, a well-known Cassville business woman and former Cassville School Board member.
CEF is administered by the Cassville Community Foundation. Community Foundation of the Ozarks (CFO), which serves as the foundation's umbrella organization, launched the Rural Schools Partnership in 2009. The foundation answered a challenge from the Harry Cooper Supply Company to locally raise $20,000 in order to receive a $10,000 matching grant.
The Cassville Community Foundation and the Cassville School District raised monies for the educational endowment fund by hosting a poker run, a potato bake and a dress down day for teachers and by appealing to district alumni. More money was added to the fund last year through golf tournament and poker run fundraisers.
In 2011, CFO awarded a $11,800 grant to CEF after the Cassville Community Foundation raised $23,218 for the educational endowment fund and qualified for matching funds through the Harry Cooper Supply Company Campaign. The matching grant boosted the CEF total to over $35,000.
For more information on CEF, call Cupps at 847-3217. To donate to the fund, visit cassvilleeducationfund.org.