As I reflect on a day spent reviewing and evaluating Educator Initiative Grants funded by the GAR Foundation, I realized that I wasn’t just reading, reviewing and evaluating grant proposals submitted by teachers and schools across the county, I was helping to decide how children are going to be impacted not just next year but many years to come.
We on the team take our role as evaluator very seriously. We work to recommend funding for the best and most impactful proposals. But with that realization on how children are impacted year after year, I couldn’t help but think about how the GAR Foundation has changed the face of my classroom.
A few years ago I had this crazy idea to offer robotics courses to eighth graders. It is hard to do this without a robot. Through a grant funded by GAR, I was able to get two sets of robots and some incredible professional development. This started my interest in teaching more computer science skills to my students. The confidence that being awarded the funds gave me was a springboard into a change in what and how I teach. Now I have two different courses spanning not just eighth graders, but encompassing students from eighth grade to seniors.
It didn’t stop there. Because my administrators have seen how teaching computer science principals through the use of robots is so impactful, they have supported other ideas and projects. Some of those have been supported through GAR in the way of other grants I have written and some funded by the district.
As I finished reflecting on that long day, I was thankful for the GAR Foundation. They are improving the lives of children in Summit County through education and opportunities. Without the GAR Foundation, the future in Summit County wouldn’t be so bright!