Monday, November 19, 2001

Grants boost teachers

By Cindy Kranz
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Eleven teachers from Greater Cincinnati were among 80 Ohio teachers honored Sunday by Gov. Bob Taft for their commitment, creativity and dedication.

        The teachers were recognized at an awards luncheon in Columbus as recipients of “mini-grants” to support specific educational programs in their schools.

        “Ohio has more than 112,000 teachers who work hard every day, and the vast majority of them routinely spend money out of their own pockets to buy supplies and fund various educational programs in their classrooms,” said Susan Tave Zelman, superintendent of public instruction. “We wanted to give back to those teachers by providing some extra monies to implement their ideas.”

        One grant will help Julie Hotel's sixth-grade science students complete their “Young Inventors Tool Project.” Mrs. Hotel, who teaches at Three Rivers Middle School,, received a $1,560 grant.

        Now each of her 80 students will receive $20 to help buy materials for their inventions.

        “It can get quite expensive, especially with the diversity of financial backgrounds of our students in the district,” Mrs. Hotel said.

        One student invented an ice scraper that can be filled with hot water that melts the ice while scraping. Another invented a washable lampshade cover. Another made a baseboard cleaner.

        “It's getting them thinking beyond paper and pencil, making something out of what they learn in class, something practical and useful,” Mrs. Hotel said.

        The Ohio Department of Education's Center for the Teaching Profession allocated $160,000 for the mini-grant program. More than 1,150 proposals were received.

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