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100 People Who Care hold shareholders meeting

Pictured are Amy Tighe, Renee Brown and Chrissy Patterson sharing how the Knightly Reading program works. (Jennifer Schrock who is also one of the teachers involved was unable to attend.)

A group of shareholders met for dinner and a fun presentation at La Cascada on Thursday, April 20.

These shareholders are part of 100 People Who Care which is a fundraising arm of the District #305 Education Foundation. Money raised from these community members is used by the Education Foundation in part to sponsor senior scholarships and award grants to teachers in District #305. Grants awarded the last few years have averaged around $7000 per year to help our teachers with projects or items needed in their classrooms that they might otherwise have to do without or pay for out of pocket. Our last meeting was in November when Spencer Kirby shared how his P.E. classes are using their new heart rate monitors to measure things like stamina. Also, Melissa Hopkins and some of her students demonstrated their Lego robotics project with the group.

The goal is to have meetings every few months to share how the grant money is used. In the spring the Foundation treats our shareholders to a meal and program as a thank you for their involvement. The program at this meeting featured those involved in Knightly Reading which is a special reading program that is used districtwide in all the grade schools. Staff involved include Jennifer Schrock, librarian at Arthur Grade School; Chrissy Patterson, Title 1 teacher at Atwood Hammond; Amy Tighe, Junior High math teacher at Lovington; and Renee Brown, district librarian.

With Knightly Reading a book is chosen for all the grade school children to read. This year’s choice was “The Mouse and the Motorcycle,” by Judy Blume. Every family gets a book and there are suggested daily readings. Older children can read by themselves or read with family. For younger children the parents and other family members can read to them. Some other aspects of this year’s program included daily trivia questions, keeping a journal, designing a ‘mouse house,’ and each classroom taking care of a pet mouse (stuffed) where each student had the opportunity to take home. There was even a motorcycle parade organized to drive through each town and also an opportunity to search for Ralph (the title character’s name) in the communities.

The obvious enthusiasm by the presenters for this program carries over to the students. One high school student in attendance at the meeting fondly remembered reading these books when she was in grade school. Most importantly, Knightly Reading encourages children to become lifelong readers, involves the parents and unites the schools and communities in a common goal.

The District #305 Education Foundation is very pleased to sponsor Knightly Reading and many other projects for our teachers which includes such things as math manipulatives, books, electrocardiogram sensors, STEM learning tools, sensory tools, etc. More information about the Education Foundation and/or 100 People Who Care can be found on facebook or by contacting Foundation board members. Rod Randall is president; board members are Shannon Cheek, Stan Harris, Shelley Martina, Kristie Mechling, Ryan Nettles, Danny Powell, Carol Smith and Marty Yeakel.

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