Elkins Rotary awards educational grants to local classrooms

The Elkins Rotary Club awarded a total of $5,500 in grants to local classroom instructors and libraries Monday, funding five school projects and three library wishes.

David Boyles, health instructor at Elkins Middle School, asked Rotary members to fund his program to purchase 30 heart rate monitors. He was awarded $1,650 for the project.

“I am happy to get his award to have these monitors to use in the health classes to help teach target heart rate calculations,” Boyles said. “This helps the students get their heart rate up to its target rate and experience that.”

Boyles said the monitors will be used in the physical education classes, as well as for track, cross country and “Girls On the Run.”

“I am very grateful to be able to accept this check,” Boyles said.

A check for $750 was presented to North Elementary School Principal Cynthia Bodkin for the project, “Come Over To Our Pad.”

“I was able to buy some iPads for our teachers and we are going to use the money you have given us to buy cases for them because we want to get all of the technology in the hands of the children,” Bodkin said. “And so when they have that iPad and they drop it, and they are going to drop it, it will be safe.

“Also we are going to get iTunes cards to the teachers so they can focus into what skills the students need, and be able to buy the apps for those.”

Bodkin also offered thanks to Rotary members for the grant.

“Technology is the way to go these days,” Bodkin said. “They are starting at a very young age, and they can probably do it better than most of us.”

Hilary Ramsey, technology integration specialist at Tygarts Valley Middle School, accepted a grant for $460.

“I am excited and thankful for the opportunity from you guys,” Ramsey said. “We are going to purchase a camera and microphone to begin a daily news broadcast that will be televised throughout our schools.

“This is something that bigger schools in bigger areas in West Virginia have been doing for a while and it is something I have been wanting to do at Tygarts Valley for a while. This is a great opportunity for our students to explore new technology by using these to learn broadcast journalism and video production.”

Stacie Friddle, a fourth-grade instructor at Third Ward Elementary School, accepted a check for $900.

“I wrote the grant to get science equipment to get into our student’s hands so we can have more hands-on activities,” Friddle said. “Our science equipment and books are pretty old, and the direction we are moving is more hands-on.”

Rocky Nestor, social studies instructor at Harman School, received a $500 grant for his project.

“For years, the English department and I have worked together so we can be more cross-curricular,” said Nestor. “We have always had trouble coming up with the extra money for a classroom set of novels, and with the new common core requirements coming up, they want us to do non-fiction things and those are more expensive books.”

The Elkins-Randolph County Public Library director Audrey Taylor received $500.

“I want to thank you all for supporting us,” Taylor said. “The grant is going to buy non-fiction books, mainly medical and computer books, things that go out of date really fast. We may buy a few craft books. Without your support, I could not keep the library moving forward.”

A grant for $550 was made to Valley Head Library for their summer program, “Digging Into Reading,” and $600 to the Davis & Elkins College Library Children’s Collection.

“Judith Smith writes this grant each year for the children’s collection at the college,” D&E representative Karen Wilmoth said in thanking the club. “It’s housed in the Booth Library and is available to the general public, but they also use it in the education department.”