NORMAN — Public school teachers in Canadian, Cleveland, and Oklahoma counties can apply through Dec. 16 for professional development grants in STEM — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — sponsored by the Boeing Company.
The grants are made possible through a $25,000 gift from the Boeing Company and are administered by the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, a statewide, nonprofit organization that recognizes and encourages academic excellence in Oklahoma’s public schools. The program is designed to enhance students’ learning by helping teachers attend top-quality regional, national and international conferences and institutes in their chosen fields. The grants help cover the costs of tuition, transportation, lodging and the expense of hiring a substitute teacher.
“At a time when school budgets are stretched to their limits and funding for professional development is scarce, we are grateful to the Boeing Company for its continued commitment to quality instruction and providing teachers with the best possible training to benefit their students,” said Emily Stratton, executive director of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence.
Applications are available on the Foundation for Excellence website at ofe.org. Applications must be postmarked on or before Dec. 16. Grants will be awarded in January for teacher conferences and institutes scheduled in 2014.
Since 2003, the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence has awarded more than $613,000 in professional development grants to benefit 445 Oklahoma teachers. Program funding has been made possible by sponsorships from individuals, businesses and foundations across the state. The Boeing Company has supported teacher grants since 2005.
Boeing Grant recipient Judy Schwarz, a teacher at Westmoore High School, said the teacher grants open doors for teachers to receive training that they might not otherwise receive.
“We want our students to be lifelong learners, and it is important for me to model this for my high school students,” Schwarz said. “When I returned from my conference, I was like a kid in a candy store, able to integrate new technology into my lessons. Because I am excited, my students are excited, which helps learning come naturally for them.”
Applicants must currently be employed as an elementary or secondary teacher in Canadian, Cleveland or Oklahoma counties and have at least two years of teaching experience in Oklahoma prior to the conference for which the grant will be used.
For more information, call the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence at 236-0006 or visit the foundation’s website at ofe.org.