Broken Arrow Express
GIVING BACK: The Broken Arrow Public Schools Foundation has supported education throughout the district for many years and will continue to do so in the future. Teachers are awarded with grants to help further curriculum and creativity in the classroom for all grades. From left are Joe Mann, Corey Sisson, Connie Frieze, Russell Peterson, Delbert Frieze, John Herndon and Kelley Rash.
The Broken Arrow Public Schools Foundation has reached out to teachers and students to create a positive change in education since 1992.
Teachers have been given opportunities to present curriculum to students in inspiring ways through incentive grants provided by the foundation every year. Ideas are submitted through applications and then reviewed by the board of directors. Once the applications are approved, the teachers have a surprise presentation of the grants. Member of the foundation enjoy handing the grants to teachers while they are teaching in the classrooms during the spring of the year.
The foundation prides itself in helping teachers and students in this way. Broken Arrow Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Jarod Mendenhall explains that the teachers are always very surprised and appreciative when the grants are given to them. The students are also very grateful and enjoy knowing that new projects and technology will soon be available to them.
High School Art Teacher Jennifer Deal is just one of the many teachers who have been rewarded with the grants. “When I see the BAPS Foundation members walk into my room I feel excited, loved and appreciated. Each time I have received a foundation grant, I feel like Broken Arrow is taking care of its own. It is an incredible program that allows me to expose my students to materials and processes that I just can’t provide with my regular instructional budget.”
With the already busy schedule that teachers have, the process to apply for the grants has been simplified. It now only takes a couple of hours to complete the application and many do so following their last class for the day.
One of the ways that the funds for the grants are raised is through the Annual Education Grant Awards Golf Tournament. “This tournament is the Foundation’s only fundraiser and plays an important role within the district,” says Mendenhall.
This year marked the tenth anniversary for the event that has made such an impact for the schools. Forest Ridge Golf Club hosted the tournament Oct. 14 on their beautiful and challenging course. Next year will bring the entire community together again for the friendly competition and plans are already being made for the event.
The foundation would not be possible without the support of businesses and individuals throughout the community.
Sponsorships of the annual fundraiser have resulted in even more grants being available for teachers for the upcoming years. Foundation President Jack Edwards notes that AVB, First National Bank, RCB and Citizen’s Security Bank, along with St. Francis Hospital have always been great contributors to the foundation. In addition, Great Plains Coca-Cola and American Fidelity Assurance have helped immensely with their support this year.
There are many opportunities for those who are interested to become involved with the foundation. Volunteers are always welcome to help with the fundraiser and planning for the foundation. Volunteers may be greatly involved or may choose a couple of ways to help throughout the year.
The board of directors is made up of volunteers throughout the community. They include parents, alumni, teachers, staff and even those who are just genuinely interested in helping the district move forward in education. The board oversees planning of events, allocation of funds and sponsorships of businesses among many other responsibilities.
For more information about the Broken Arrow Public Schools Foundation or to become involved as a volunteer, call 918-259-5787.