Bossier Optimist Club Nears Awarding Half-Million Dollars in Teacher Grants
Bossier Optimist Club has, once again, put its money where its mouth is by living up to the organization’s motto ‘Friend
of Youth.’ Nine grant projects totaling nearly $25,000 were funded at a luncheon today, enabling Bossier Parish teachers
to bring classroom enhancements and learning opportunities to life for their students in the 2019-20 school year. Grant
funding extended to educators at Bossier Schools by the Bossier Optimist Club totals $484,000 to date.
Last month, 49 Bossier Parish educators submitted grant proposals detailing various initiatives to support classroom
learning and increase student engagement. A judging panel reviewed each application and conducted face-to-face teacher
interviews before deciding which projects to fund. Monetary awards were handed out by the Optimists at a luncheon June
5 in the teachers’ honor.
Recipients of this year’s Bossier Optimist Club grants are: Brandi Dye, Cope Middle; Kara Stephenson, Elm Grove
Middle; Christy Hopkins, Parkway High; Eric Clinton and Teresa Ramadan, Parkway High; Amanda Mineo, Parkway
High; Vallette Weaver, Haughton High; Vanessa Powers, Plantation Park Elementary; Callie Schneider, Central Park
Elementary; and Jan Rogers, Bellaire Elementary.
“The commitment the Bossier Optimist Club has shown Bossier Schools over the years is unparalleled,” said Mitch
Downey, Superintendent of Bossier Schools. “Their unwavering support has enabled our teachers to impact literally tens
of thousands of students, making learning what it is supposed to be; fun and exciting and, in turn, helping our young
people achieve success.”
The Optimists began awarding grants in 1988 to Bossier Parish teachers. Each week, club members work Bingo games to
raise money specifically for this teacher grant program.
Bossier Optimist Club Grant Recipients and Proposals
Brandi Dye - Cope Middle/$3000:
Project - Bowling for Life supports the funding of physical education tools and materials to support a unit that will help enhance students in physical activity, social and emotional, mental-focus and motor skills.
Kara Stephenson- Elm Grove Middle/$2730
The Google Expedition kit to support Google Goggles so students can experience learning through a virtual and/or augmented reality-based education that extends beyond the walls of the classrooms.
Christy Hopkins - Parkway High School/$2995:
It’s All in the DNA! This project will support research equipment and lab equipment to enable students to learn about the latest discoveries in biotechnology and become an active CSI investigator in solving real world problems in science and technology.
Eric Clinton/Teresa Ramadan - Parkway High School/$3000:
This project will fund specialized seeds, materials and resources, and tools for students to participate with the hands-on approach to assessing resources needed to grow sustainable agriculture and explore the realms of producing economical and healthy produce foliage. Students will be able to control the environment and manipulate variables for assessment of cause and effect performance in relation to nutrient levels, moisture levels, and microbe activity.
Amanda Mineo - Parkway High School/$2970:
This project fund lab equipment and specialized kits to teach students important lab and research skills for future professions in medical, engineering, and laboratory fields. Students will apply scientific discovery skills and collect data to assess current science theories.
Vallette Weaver - Haughton High School/$2926
This project would involve the purchase of chrome books to support credit recovery and EOC (End of Course) and the support of remediation through technology to gain credits to be college/career ready.
Vanessa Powers - Plantation Park Elementary/$1580:
Say Cheese is a project that will provide a creative outlet for students to learn aperture, lighting, and photo composition, as well as photo editing with editing software and the use of a professional photographer’s camera with lens.
Callie Schneider - Central Park Elementary/$2456:
The STEM Detectives MYSTERIES Project Kit will teach STEM skills as well as Motivate Younger Students to Explore, Research, Investigate, Evaluate, and Solve real-world problems in grades PreK-5th.
Jan Rogers - Bellaire Elementary/$2997
The Mystery Science Project Kit provides a Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) aligned curriculum to four grade levels for three years. Lessons will cover a wide range of topics, including light and sound, biodiversity, engineering, and the water cycle to support learning across the curricula.