More than 6,000 teachers across Oklahoma received $6 million in funding this week for hand-picked learning tools and school supplies through the second round of a grant initiative created by the Oklahoma State Department of Education.
Using federal pandemic relief funds, OSDE partnered with the national nonprofit DonorsChoose to award public school teachers with Classroom Learning and School Supplies (CLASS 2.0) grants.
Sixteen teachers from Skiatook Public Schools received more than $13,000.
Mrs. Paulk, who teaches grades 6-8 at Newman Middle School, for example, received nearly $800 to help fund handheld calculators, manipulatives, classroom supplies and organizers for all of the classroom supplies.
“Every minute matters in the classroom, so having a place to store calculators, paper and dry erase markers will help my students have the supplies they need and will allow us to distribute and collect the supplies easily as to not take away from class time,” Paulk said in her DonorsChoose profile.
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Mrs. Chavez, a teacher at Skiatook High School, also received $970 to give her students more relaxed and flexible seating.
“My Oklahoma History and Government students love having the opportunity to sit at tables rather than desks because they are more comfortable and it allows them to spread out more because it is difficult to fit a Chromebook, textbook, and worksheet on desks,” Chavez said on her profile. “My Leadership students also benefit from the tables because they can use them to spread out while they work on various Student Council projects.”
The full amount of funding was expended each day in a matter of hours. In all, $6 million was spent in just under 24 hours.
Grants were available to teachers on a first-come, first-served basis. Funds were divided into three equitable amounts and distributed to teachers serving students in each Oklahoma area code. All full-time PreK-12 teachers were eligible to apply. Teacher projects were designed to address student learning, remediation and enrichment needs.
The first round of CLASS grants was administered in February. More than 7,500 Oklahoma classroom teachers in 1,411 schools at 462 districts received learning tools and school supplies through the first CLASS grant initiative.