Partners in Education Foundation Prize Patrol Distributes almost $20,000 in awards

Greg Williams
Butler County Times Gazette
PIE's yearly fundraiser benefits the Grants to Schools program that allows staff to apply for grants that provide supplies/curriculum for innovative project not otherwise funded by the district.

The Prize Patrol from Partners In Education Foundation, Inc. (PIE) made its tour of El Dorado schools Tuesday, Oct 26th to distribute this year’s Fall Awards.

Three different types of awards were presented, $9,600 in Grants to Schools, $7,800 in Program Awards, and $2,200 in awards from the Felix Alton Cantrell Jr. Fund.

The bi-annual Grants to Schools awards are initiated by the instructors, librarians, or staff of the schools when they apply for grants using an innovative curriculum, creative books, or other items that facilitate a positive classroom experience.

A PIE committee reviews and selects the grants to be awarded based on the quality of the requests and the funds available.

  • At Skelly Elementary: Jennifer Gingerich received an award for “Engage, Explore, Collaborate”, Taylor Bradley received an award to purchase Ukuleles, Abigail Van Kooten received an award for Flexible Seating, and Alyssa Vanderhoof received an award for “Bridging to Resilience”.
  •  At Blackmore Elementary: Luana Lewis received an award for “Never Forget”, Christine Henderson received an award for “Affirmation Stations”, Emma Schrag-Culbertson received an award for “Conflict Resolution Machine”. One Cantrell grant was awarded to Cristin Hubbard for “If You Can Imagine It”.
  •  Grandview Elementary received five awards; Jessica Jensen – Two for Tonya Cogan; “Let's Grow a Salad” and “The Cupboard is Bare”, Theresa Tannehill was awarded “Breakout Room, Sherri Crawford received “Let's Play Xylophones”, and Misty Currier received “Tabletop Art Drying Rack”. Additionally, Rachel Norris received her Cantrell request, “I Want to Talk to You”
  • • At El Dorado High School: Todd Miller – “Distillation of Cherry Coke”, Linda Swan – “Digital Thermometers for Accurate Cooking”, Sarah Henning – “Zoology Specimens”. Two Cantrell Grants were awarded; Melissa Wade - “De-escalation Station”, Kelly Ankrom – “Light up Our Imagination”
  • • El Dorado Middle School received two PIE awards: Deanna Korkki – “Measuring Up”, LuAnne Vides – “7 Habits of Highly Effective Teams”. Kacie Johnson and Lorra Gillis teamed up for a Cantrell grant award – “A Mouse That Builds Character”
  • • El Dorado Extend High School: Ryan Hall received an award for “Pride Points Positive Behavior Resources”.

PIE annually awards monies to specific programs or departments as directed by some of the endowed funds. Almost $7,800 from nineteen different endowed funds will provide financial support to the industrial arts, libraries, drama, orchestra, English departments, Career & Technical Education, business classes, school nurses, and students in need.

The generosity of Jeanette Rudy continues to benefit our community by using the Felix Alton Cantrell Jr. Fund entrusted to PIE. The Cantrell Committee selected 10 requests totaling $2,200.

These grants will provide students with special needs equipment that enhances their ability to learn and prosper. Items this year will provide flexible seating, calming tools, coordination tools, and other integrated curriculum aids. In addition to the almost $20,000 awarded above, PIE has provided payments for over $13,000 in scholarships this semester for El Dorado students continuing their education at technical schools, community colleges, and universities.

Partners In Education Foundation is a not-for-profit foundation established in 1989 to enhance the educational opportunities for the students of USD 490. For more information contact Rod Blackburn, Development Director at rod.blackburn@pie490.org, 316.322.4800.

Greg Williams has been the reporter for the Wellington Daily News and Butler County Times-Gazette since May 2021. You can reach him at GWilliams@gannett.com or on Twitter at @GregWilliams28.