The phrase "back to school" can illicit a variety of responses, depending on who you ask. This year, HCCF decided to show our teachers how much we appreciate their efforts by offering grants specifically for Huron County classrooms. We asked teachers to respond to the following question -- "What would you do with an extra $500 for your classroom?" We had over 60 "wishlists" submitted for the $500 grant. The overwhelming response prompted an anonymous donor of the Price Family Fund to contribute funding for a second $500 grant. Requests ranged from alternative seating to basic school supplies like paper and pencils and from STEM related requests to books.
The two grant recipients were Vicki Yackle of Bad Axe Public Schools and Amy Smithers of Laker Elementary School. Yackle, the Agriscience Teacher Bad Axe, used her grant to purchase classroom hydroponic equipment. Her students will use the hydroponic equipment to grow tomatoes in the classroom, year-round. After the tomaotes are ready to harvest, Yackle plans to teach her students to make and can their own salsa. This grant will allow students to create the farm to fork experience in their classroom while learning skills that they can utilize for the rest of their life.
Amy Smithers, a 3rd grade teacher at Lakers, is helping each of her students become a published author by the end of the school year! Each year, Smithers would create a classroom book that featured one page of writing and illustrating from each of her students. This year, every single student will be responsible for their own book, full of original writing pieces and illustrations. The excitement from her students will hopefully spark a lifetime love of reading and creating. At the end of the year-long project, the students will host a publishing party in their classroom to show of their hard work to family members and the community,
Our Huron County teachers constantly go “above and beyond” to develop our next generation. These Back to School grants were our small token of appreciation for all their hard work.