Park Elementary Teachers Win $5,000 Grant From Qwest Foundation and Wyoming Department of Education
CASPER, WYO., April 8, 2008—The Qwest Foundation and the Wyoming Department of Education today announced that two Park Elementary school teachers have won $5,000 in the Qwest Teachers and Technology grant program.
Lynn Ahrndt and Kelly Toups plan to teach their fifth- and sixth-grade students about “earth caching,” which studies and compiles information about area geologies under the “nothing left behind” principle. Students will learn Global Positioning System (GPS) technology; take field trips to enhance their understanding of local geology; and share their work with students at their school, across the country and even around the world.
"Technology is so ingrained in everything we do that it’s paramount for students to apply it to their studies,” said Michael Ceballos, Qwest president of Wyoming. "The earth caching program elevates technology use at Park Elementary, and also incorporates science, math, reading and writing, so students integrate several subjects as they learn."
According to Ahrndt and Toup’s grant application, the earth caching project and the Qwest Foundation grant will help Park Elementary achieve one of its goals—to connect communities and people around the globe.
“We created our project based on the opportunity for immediate and continued usefulness in the classroom, and believe earth caching will not only enhance students’ learning now, but help them build solid skills for the future,” Ahrndt said.
Ceballos will surprise Ahrndt and Toups with their $5,000 grant check during an assembly at Park Elementary on April 8, 2008 at 11 a.m. MDT.
“Our state’s teachers continually look beyond traditional methods of instruction when it comes to making sure their students succeed,” said Wyoming State Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Jim McBride. “And the Qwest Teachers and Technology grants are one way to advance new learning techniques that capture students’ attention—and pave the way for their futures.”
The objectives of the Qwest Teachers and Technology grant program are to improve student achievement through the use of today’s technology; build a real-world team problem-solving environment; and set the groundwork for future technology integration projects. Through a competitive process administered by the Wyoming Department of Education, the Qwest Foundation provided a total of $25,000 to be awarded to three educators whose innovative ideas to incorporate technology into their classrooms would help improve education.
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About the Qwest Foundation
The Qwest Foundation's core principle is that investing in people and communities provides lasting value for the future. The Qwest Foundation awards grants to community-based programs that generate high-impact and measurable results, focusing on pre-K through grade 12 education.