Douglass High School teachers receive Links to Learning grants

Friday, November 9, 2012 | 11:48 a.m. CST

COLUMBIA — Three Douglass High School teachers received about $2,501 in grants this October from the Assistance League of Mid-Missouri's Links to Learning program.

The goal of Links to Learning is to help teachers in Columbia Public Schools fund enrichment programs at their buildings.

Biology teacher John Reid received a $570 grant to expand his healthy food program. Reid's students are learning to prepare and buy simple, affordable, healthy snacks. He plans to incorporate a tour of a grocery store.

"I'm trying to teach them that it's better to shop on the edges of the store rather in the inside aisles," Reid said, referring to the placement of fresh foods.

Media specialist Jessica Menold received two grants totaling $1,281 to add books for Douglass' library. Students will have access to a college preparation book, which explains financial aid and gives tips on applying for college.

Menold also ordered biographies and memoirs, which she hopes will help with a new digital storytelling class planned for next semester.

"The kids here have really great personal stories," Menold said.

In addition to learning to use technology for the class, students will be able to check out biographies and memoirs to help them tell stories.

Laura Bolerjack, who teaches the business and personal finance class at Douglass, received $650 to purchase two books for her students: "Whale Done!: The Power of Positive Relationships" by Kenneth Blanchard, Thad Lacinak, Chuck Tompkins and Jim Ballard and "Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life" by Spencer Johnson.

Bolerjack said these books will be used to introduce professional business and workplace readiness skills. The books will also fit with the English core portion of the district's high school curriculum.

She will use both books for her students this semester and then add them to the library for use by other classes.

The Links to Learning program began 20 years ago with a mission to help teachers fund projects outside of their school's budget.

Phyllis Stoecklein, chairwoman of Links to Learning, said this year the program gave 170 grants to preschool through 12th-grade teachers, amounting to $84,026.90.

The Assistance League of Mid-Missouri's Upscale Resale shopat 1729 West Broadway and community donations help fund the majority of Links to Learning's grants.

Stoecklein said Links to Learning supports teachers from all areas of content and in a variety of ways, such as providing funding for books, field trips and guest speakers. 

Supervising editor is Elizabeth Brixey.

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