Oklahoma Panhandle State University
Goodwell Schools and Faculty Benefit from Grant —By Connie Butler, SOEA member on 05/31/2012 Goodwell, Okla.—Oklahoma Panhandle State University's chapter of the Student Oklahoma Education Association (SOEA) recently completed a mural project for Goodwell Elementary School as part of a grant received from the National Education Association. The NEA allotted $1,000 to the elementary teachers by providing additional materials and supplies for implementation of the newly adopted Common Core Curriculum.
SOEA members and their advisor, Jerry Mihelic, met on a weekend to paint familiar book characters down the elementary hallway, featuring six different book characters ranging from Junie B. Jones to Franklin. The teachers commented it brightens the entire hallway and even students participated in this project. Their handprints line the entrance hallway that leads into the elementary school. Current OPSU students, community members, and Goodwell Elementary students made this project a success.
OPSU faculty provided Goodwell faculty members training in the Common Core State Standards as the other aspect of the NEA grant. The new standards will require teachers to thoroughly evaluate students to ensure they grasp fundamental concepts that high school graduates need to master in order to succeed in college or in careers.
This is the third grant since 2008 that will directly assist the small, rural school. In 2008, SOEA volunteers helped remodel the gym, purchased some playground equipment, and painted a U.S. map on the playground, and in 2010, they purchased science equipment for the high school and assisted with a science fair. Earlier this year, money earned from SOEA's annual book fair profited Goodwell Elementary. It is one of numerous rural schools from this area to benefit from SOEA's desire to serve the community.