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November 14, 2013
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Valley teachers compete for classroom grants

Three Valley elementary school teachers have the chance to win a $5,000 grant through the University of Farmers Education Foundation.

Each teacher was thanked on the Farmer’s Insurance “Thank a Nevada Teacher” website, thus allowing them to submit a proposal for the classroom grant.

Lauren Spires of Minden Elementary School submitted a proposal for ball chairs.

“The rigor of the curriculum and expectations of the students has greatly increased with the implementation of the Common Core State Standards. Many of my students are unable to sit in their seats without fidgeting for periods of time,” Spires’ proposal stated. “With the new standards my students are being held at a higher demand for focus and concentration. Chairless classrooms are becoming a trend in education. Ball chairs were originally recommended to help students with attention disorders and sensory processing issues; however, studies have shown that ball chairs can improve all students’ attentiveness, test scores, balance, posture, and reduce childhood obesity.”

Piñon Hills and Jacks Valley art teacher Cindy Patmont submitted her proposal called “Fueled up art teacher ready to inspire.”

Patmont has a $1 per student budget for more than 900 students, and wants to use the grant to buy additional supplies.

“I believe in art education and know-how creativity is of vital importance to our future economy. I want to put inspiring materials into these kids’ hands so they can experience the wonder of creating and the power they have to put things together,” her proposal read. “Many of my lessons are based on classroom content in order to provide a deeper understanding of subjects. A donation to my classroom would be used to purchase art materials and could inspire 900 brains of the future. Early learning experiences are powerful and could fuel the future.”

Catherine Helms of Piñon Hills Elementary School would use her money to purchase iPads.

“Children learn at different rates and from a variety of multiple intelligences. iPads would allow students opportunites to enhance their learning by selecting books they can be successful reading at their current level, research projects, practice math skills, support language, and a variety of other skills,” she stated. “iPads allow learners to tap into the following multiple intelligences: visual, auditory, musical, kinesthetic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal. Students will be able to use iPads as enrichment through thinking and problem solving. Writing will be enhanced through the tools iPads have to offer, as well as keyboarding skills which are essential for their future.”

Farmers Insurance will award up to 10 $5,000 grants to the top 10 vote getters in the state.

“At Farmers, we understand how important educating our youth is to the families and communities we serve. While Farmers is very proud of our long-time support of education, we want to take our commitment to the next level. That’s why we have launched our own education foundation,” the website stated. “The goal of the foundation is not only to support educational organizations and programs, but also to create our own education initiatives. Our very first initiative is to thank the teachers in our schools who we believe all too often go unrecognized for their dedication and hard work.”

The community can vote on the same proposal once in a 24-hour period until Nov. 30.

To see which Carson Valley teachers have been thanked, or to vote on a proposal, visit

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The Record Courier Updated May 9, 2014 04:06PM Published Nov 14, 2013 04:10PM Copyright 2013 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.