Kenwood Alumni Offers Grant Money to Teachers for their Classrooms

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Teacher Ashley Bright working with students as they use their cell phone microscopes in Science class.

Priya Samaroo and Luvia Thomas, Editor

The idea of school to most people is stereotyped by the atmosphere of a classroom. To most, classroom settings are just dull and boring rooms. But schools and classrooms don’t have to feel that way. The classrooms can be colorful, and projects can be fun! But do you know who is paying for the materials? Teachers are typically the ones funding class materials and decorations to liven up the classroom to attract their students’ interests. Buying colorful markers, poster board, glue, extra notebooks and supplies for students that don’t bring their own. The cost of a well-stocked and decorated class often comes from their wallets.

According to the Baltimore County website, teachers in Baltimore with a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree make $49,472 a year their first year. With teachers having lives of their own and an increased standard of living, supplying their classes can be expansive and troublesome to financially afford to do. So, to combat these issues, Kenwood High Alumni started a solution to this economic problem through means of financial aid they call the Kenwood Alumni Grant.

“They wanted to start something new to support the teachers and students in a more specific way,” shared Mr. Powell, principal of Kenwood High School. The Kenwood Alumni Grant is a small organization that gives Kenwood teachers a $250 reward grant towards classroom projects and supplies. All Kenwood High teachers are welcome to apply. To receive the grant all teachers have do is fill out an application and state how the money would benefit the learning environment of their students. However, the teacher must meet the qualifications in the application before being able to receive the grant.

Kenwood Alumni member Clare Fahnestock shares, “Teachers are limited to one $250 grant annually, but multiple teachers can apply for grant funding. Applications will be implemented during the school year and will be accepted at the end of each month. The grant program information and instructions are posted under Alumni on the school website.”

The application process for the Alumni Grant is easy though: give a brief description of the project the funds are needed for, the learning objective of the project, and how it’s academically beneficial to Kenwood students. With the deadlines being the 30th of each month, teachers still have a chance this school year to get what they need to help their students. “This grant is an excellent opportunity to have the funds to help them plan that project,” adds Mr. Powell.

Mr. Williams, a social studies teacher here at Kenwood, was is a recipient of the Alumni Grant. Through the Alumni Grant, Mr. Williams was able to buy a large supply of flair pens to help students with their mind maps. “I used to pay for these out of my own pocket, but now I don’t have to. It really helps because students can color code similar themes in their mind maps and they really enjoy using a variety of colors.” By allowing a variety of colors, it makes what could be a plain mind map more engaging and appealing to students.

Ms. Ashley Bright also took advantage of the Alumni Grant. “I used the grant money for cell phone microscopes for the science class and some bubble slides for saving specimens. We’re going to use them in our upcoming units for algae blooms, looking at fossils, and examining water from nearby streams. This will allow students to take pictures of their slides since they slide right over their cell phone lens,” shared Ms. Bright.

Students working with the cell phone mircroscopes in Mrs. Bright’s class.

The Alumni Grant is a great opportunity for teachers. Teachers can still apply for the Alumni Grant to benefit students academically this school year. If interested, all applications must be fully completed and summited through email to [email protected]