Twelve Bossier Parish educators have been awarded more than $18,000 in grant money for classroom enhancements from Optimist Club of Bossier City, living up to its continued commitment to be a ‘Friend of Youth.’
Projects granted vary, from interactive learning modules for elementary students to learn basic coding skills and an incubator, microscopes and other science related materials for kindergarteners to conduct environmental experiments to sets of Chromebooks to build math and literacy skills and video/editing equipment for foreign language students to write and produce feature films related to the Hispanic culture. Sixty-five grant applications were received.
Out of that, eight grants — five elementary, two middle school and one high school — were fully funded.
Recipients of this year’s Bossier Optimist Grants and their projects are: Jill Hunter and Madora Abney, Apollo Elementary, Project: 3D; Toni Ward, Legacy Elementary, Project: Science Mobile; Calley Schneider and Leslie Alexander, Central Park Elementary, Project: CyberPatriot for STEM; Shuntay Wilson and Amber Pierce, Stockwell Place Elementary, Project: ‘Tis the Season for Reading; Brandy Hanks and Casey Lands, Plantation Park, Project: Saxon Phonics; John Kendrick, Elm Grove Middle, Project: Google Up; Deborah Lawrence, T.O. Rusheon Middle, Project: Math Talk; and Juan Alvarez, Benton High, Project: Premier Gala.
This marks the 25th year the Optimist Club has awarded grants in Bossier Parish, totaling more than $402,000 to date. The grant program got its start when the daughter of Bossier Optimist Club member Al Yantis approached her father about the organization helping fund a set of books for her Bossier Parish classroom.
“The Optimists’ support of Bossier Schools is unparalleled and we cannot thank them enough for investing in our teachers, which is an investment in our children and their future,” said Scott Smith, Interim Superintendent of Bossier Parish Schools.