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Students spend as many as seven hours a day in a classroom. This environment is crucial to learning and student well-being. Teachers are using creative solutions to transform their classrooms into welcoming environments that are conducive to academic success, but financial resources can be a challenge.
That’s why Vision Care Direct of Oklahoma launched its classroom scholarship program in 2018. With over $12,000 distributed to teachers across Oklahoma, the program has helped 48 winners purchase supplies, software, toys, and more.
With teachers citing student engagement as one of the biggest challenges they are facing, creating an environment that fosters connections is more important than ever. Here’s how recent VCD scholarship winners are making a difference.
As a 6th-grade science teacher at the Wilson 6th Grade Center, Amy Wilson relies on hands-on experiments to illustrate essential concepts like mass, weight, and chemical reactions. Her scholarship went toward the purchase of digital scales, a precise tool that facilitates hands-on learning in the lab while remaining accessible to everyone.
Teaching literacy is a crucial goal for Ashely Ross, a first-grade teacher in Webster, OK. Winning a classroom scholarship allowed her to create an environment where she could use the Fusion Reading curriculum to teach reading strategies for success.
Fusion Reading is a flexible approach that gives students the tools they need to enhance reading comprehension and use their reading skills to succeed in other classes.
Ryan Wright teaches English at the Bartlett Academy in Sapulpa, OK. He made his classroom come to life with a Lego wall, a fun addition that gives high school students a creative outlet.
Students immediately took to the tactile toys, and the Lego wall proved to be an effective way to keep students engaged. It also encourages movement in the classroom and fosters positive interactions. This success story is proof that students are never too old for classroom toys!
Abby Borenn of North Rock Creek used her classroom scholarship to purchase Kuta Software. This AI-powered tool takes learning to the next level by generating math tests and assignments.
Kuta Software allows instructors to generate assignments that target each student’s strengths and weaknesses for a more personalized approach to learning. It also allows educators to save time and focus on other important tasks.
Comfort and Differentiated Learning
As an elementary school teacher, Nikki Jo Dunn understands the importance of making students feel comfortable. For this determined educator, differentiated learning is a way to adapt to each student’s needs and preferences so everyone can thrive and succeed.
Dunn used her scholarship to transform her classroom by adding varied seating options, including floor pillows, bean bag chairs, and floor rockers. Offering a variety of seating options helps students focus while empowering them to make choices. This success story is an excellent example of how something simple, like seating, can create an environment that adapts to each student’s preferred approach to learning.
At Ryan Elementary School, students use the STAR test, a computer assessment platform designed to measure reading skills and help students progress. Cathy Gordon used her classroom scholarship to get headphones so that students could hear the audio component of the assessment clearly and get more out of this tech tool.
Make a Difference With VCD
From software to classroom toys, teachers are making creative choices when spending their classroom scholarships. Each VCD scholarship success story is unique, illustrating the importance of empowering educators and giving them access to the resources they need to create a learning environment adapted to the needs of their students.
If you’re a teacher or know a deserving educator, we’d like to invite you to apply for the Spring 2024 Classroom Scholarship.