Wake County Sixteen Wake County public school teachers have been awarded over $31,000 in grants for classroom use during the upcoming school year through the Food for Thought teacher grants program.  Awarded annually by Wake Education Partnership for the past 24 years, Food for Thought grants are designed to promote effective teaching and to improve student achievement through innovative ideas in the classroom. 

Including collaborators for the projects, these 16 grants will directly impact the work of 131 Wake County teachers and staff.  Eleven elementary and five secondary schools from around Wake County are represented among the winners, including one of Wake’s alternative schools.

“Food for Thought grants allow teachers to work with their peers to plan, implement, and assess the impact of new teaching strategies focused on student success and engagement,” said Debbie Lucas, co-chair of the Food for Thought selection committee.  “The program offers an opportunity for professional growth for teachers and an enriched learning environment for students; a winning combination.”

Grant recipients submitted proposals which were reviewed by a selection committee of volunteers representing Wake County business, community and education leaders.  Proposals were selected based on inclusion of collaboration, sustainability, professional development, and student achievement.  In defining this year’s grants, the Partnership required the proposals provide instructional enhancement leading to student success and engagement in the classroom.

“Our Food for Thought grant will help provide a 21st century learning environment in which student learning is the focus,” said Karen Brown Waller, Media Specialist at Timber Drive Elementary School.  “We want the students to feel empowered in their own education and know that learning can be fun.”

With the $1,900 grant, Waller and other staff at Timber Drive will have the opportunity to participate in professional development and to create a high-tech learning environment for their entire student population.  The school will install a student response system in their computer lab and have an additional response system available for classroom use.

Funding for the grants is made possible by Bank of America, Bell Family Foundation, Drucker & Falk, Duke Raleigh Hospital, IBM, Lifetouch and LS3P/Boney and Progress Energy.  Full-time teachers and support personnel employed by the Wake County Public School System were eligible to apply.

2007 Food for Thought Recipients

Diana Aigus Cedar Fork Elementary
Karen Berryman Turner Creek Elementary
Patricia Brown Turner Creek Elementary
Karen D’Elia Reedy Creek Elementary
Angel Dowden Wakefield High
Dianne Jones Wiley Elementary
Douglas Jones Leesville Road Elementary
Susan Klaric Carroll Middle
Tricia Liberatore Lynn Road Elementary
Michelle McDaniel Turner Creek Elementary
Kara McLendon Lynn Road Elementary
Julie Pittman East Wake High School of Health Sciences
Zenobia Rahman Mt. Vernon Middle
Karen Waller Timber Drive Elementary
Jennifer Zarins Green Year Round Elementary
Cynthia Zittle Wendell GT Magnet Elementary

About Wake Education Partnership

Wake Ed is an advocacy organization dedicated to making world-class schools possible in Wake County through business and community involvement. We play a critical role in bringing people together, raising the level of discussion through capacity building, and brokering information and relationships around key issues in public education. Programs for 2007-08 focus on retaining effective teachers, developing effective education leaders, and ensuring healthy schools for all students. For more information, please visit www.WakeEd.org.

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