The Lake of the Wood Lions Club Teacher Innovation Grant Program
In the summer of 2010, the Orange County Education Foundation Board entered into a partnership with the Lake of the Woods (LOW) Lions Club to support innovative teaching in Orange County Public School classrooms. In brief, the Lions would provide grants to teachers and the Foundation Board would provide its endorsement as well as marketing and management support for the application process.
By November of 2010, the Lions had awarded grants, ranging from $150 to $250, to seven OCPS teachers. In the process, the Lions inspired the Foundation Board to expand the grant program to a greater number of teachers in the public schools as well as at Grymes Memorial School and Germanna Community College. By the spring of 2011, the Foundation launched its own teacher innovation grant program with six additional $250 grants.
“It was clear that the Lake of the Woods Lions Club inspired the first Orange County Education Foundation teacher innovation grants,” said Foundation Board President and Orange County Public Schools Superintendent Bob Grimesey. “The Foundation always will be indebted to the vision of Beth Ridpath, Jerry Davis and the rest of the Lions. This was just one of those few times when one group of individuals could step back and genuinely say that they made a difference.”
In 2010, Ms. Ridpath was a Lake of the Woods resident and a teacher at Spotsylvania County’s Wilderness Elementary School. She formerly served as a teacher for gifted and talented students in Fairfax County. Her experiences heightened her awareness of the out-of-pocket expenses that belabor teachers in all communities. She proposed the idea to Mr. Davis, who was serving as President of the LOW Lions at the time.
“She knew there was a need,” Mr. Davis said, “and before our conversation ended, I was as excited as she was about it. Through Beth’s efforts, we made it happen.”
Teachers in the Orange County school system have until October 1 of each year to apply for the Lake of the Woods Teacher Innovation Grants. Grants are awarded to teachers in clustered grade levels, including pre-K through 2nd grade, grades 3-5, middle school grades and at the high school level. Grants range up to $250 and they target lessons or programs that increase student achievement, support the Virginia Standards of Learning, promote tolerance and/or exhibit new technology in the classroom.
Teachers receive their awards during the LOW Lions Club banquet in November or December of each year.
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