GERMANTOWN - She has been with the district for more than 20 years, but something has made the last several school years a little more special for Melissa Pecunia.
“Budgets are tight across the board, so it’s been such an amazing thing for my classroom to benefit from grants from the Germantown Community Scholarship Fund the past few years,” said Pecunia, a first-grade teacher at MacArthur Elementary School.
Her most recent grant allowed her to purchase rockets for her class to help enrich the science curriculum.
“Are rockets a necessity for teaching kids about compressed air and air pressure? No, but how fun it is for the kids to have something like this, as an extension activity that enhances learning in such a fun, hands-on and creative way?” Pecunia said.
Another of her grants helped cover the cost of a document camera she said has changed the way she’s able to use technology in the classroom.
“(The camera) provides on-the-spot teachable moments, even more than I thought it would,” she said.
All of this and more has been made possible through the efforts of the Germantown Community Scholarship Foundation, a group that began raising funds in 1981 to provide scholarships for area high school students.
Since then, more than $2.4 million in scholarships have been awarded to 2,358 Germantown area students. In addition to that, the organization began raising funds for its Teacher Grant program in 2004.
Pecunia said she is honored to have received several of the 43 grants that amount to about $21,500 districtwide.
Funding for the grants and scholarships is made possible through the work of the foundation, whose largest fundraising event is coming up in June.
Designed for all age groups, the third annual “U.S. Bank Mud Splash! Run for Funds” will be Saturday, June 17, at Germantown High School.
Registration is now open for the event, which raised almost $9,000 for the Teacher Grant program last year.
“We’ve been able to award three times the amounts of grants thanks to the addition of the Mud Splash event,” said GCSF PR Committee representative Sherry Riesterer. “We went from two or three Teacher Grants a year to seven or eight, which is so exciting when you realize what a difference that can make in our classrooms.”
The goal of the grants is to help provide teachers with resources they may otherwise not be able to afford.
“It’s one thing for our teachers to have these great ideas, so we think it’s so important to help provide some funding to support them at every grade level,” Riesterer said. “It’s been so exciting to see how these grants are really impacting every level of education in our community.”
More information on the even can be found online at mudsplash2017.eventbrite.com or www.germantownscholarship.org.