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Arch Coal Foundation Makes 20 Innovative Teaching Grants; Awards Are the First for New Program in Delta County, Colorado
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SOMERSET, Colo. (Nov. 14, 2007) - Twenty Delta County teachers today received innovative teaching grants from the Arch Coal Foundation. The value of the grants is estimated at almost $10,000.

The announcement was made by Pete Wyckoff, general manager of Mountain Coal Company's West Elk mine in Somerset.

"We challenged Delta County's teachers to come up with innovative ideas that would advance learning in their classrooms," said Wyckoff. "We were very pleased with both the number of grant applications and the overall quality of the ideas."

The 20 recipients, their schools and their grants are:

  • Cami Bair, North Fork Community Montessori School. World Orientation Study: To build understanding of directionality and map skills.
  • Nancy Carlson, Hotchkiss High School. Technology to Even the Educational Playing Field: To provide auditory and visual assistance to students in the classroom, using technology.
  • Pauline Carr, Crawford School. Making Astronomy Real: To better know and understand the process and interactions of earth and other objects in space through reading, experimenting and using hands-on models.
  • Roy Cranor, Hotchkiss K-8 School. Reading Enrichment: To provide additional opportunities for reading at appropriate levels using quality literature.
  • Marylouise Dannels, Cedaredge Middle School. Poetry Reading: Intergenerational involvement; sharing the value of poetry with others.
  • Theresa Davis, Crawford School. Heroes of the Past Making Heroes of the Future: To improve reading skills in middle school students with reading disabilities.
  • Anita Evans, Hotchkiss K-8 School. Landscaping with "Science in Action": To provide a learning experience about landscaping and plants, using the school building as the model.
  • Peter Halladay, Hotchkiss High School. Fostering Personal Identity through Artwork: To enable students to create artwork (in all media) of a more personal and original nature.
  • David Kuta, Paonia Elementary. Eagle's Nest (Extension/Enrichment Program): To provide enrichment for students who are meeting classroom expectations.
  • Zac Lemon, Hotchkiss High School. Aquatic Biology: To familiarize and educate students with aquatic microorganisms, fish and vegetation in western Colorado.
  • Von Mitchell, Cedaredge High School. Library to Supplement Classroom Economy: Providing the opportunity/inspiration for children to read more and make the connection between literature and their lives.
  • Gingy Molacek, Hotchkiss K-8 School. Middle School Literacy Intervention: To target and improve at-risk students in reading and writing through interaction and integration.
  • Karla Nolte, Hotchkiss K-8 School. Mastering Mathematics through Play: To increase mathematical reasoning and logical thinking skills through entertaining games and activities.
  • Kathryn Oxford, Hotchkiss K-8 School. Recycling: Demonstrating to students and their parents the importance of recycling in our future.
  • Rhonda E. Pinckard, Hotchkiss K-8 School. Summer Reading Program: Designed to keep students reading at their current level through the summer to minimize loss of reading skills.
  • Kelly Rienks, Hotchkiss K-8 School. Listening Center and Listening Library: Improving reading skills with new learning techniques.
  • Janet Rogers, Crawford School. Student-made CD stories: To improve reading and oral fluency and increase motivation and writing skills.
  • David Schelle, Hotchkiss High School. The Pen is Mightier than the Mortgage: An essay contest to motivate and excite writers and help them see the power of writing.
  • Lee-ann Short, Backpack Early Learning Academy. Motheread for Family Literacy: Parents will read with their children daily and learn skills to strengthen their child's literacy foundation and become more confident in their own learning.
  • Meghan Waschbusch, Delta High School. Research Pond Restoration and Construction: To establish an aesthetically pleasing healthy pond ecosystem that can be utilized by all Delta High School Science and Agriculture classes.

"Congratulations to our staff for submitting many outstanding, innovative proposals," said Mike McMillan, superintendent of schools. "Many students will benefit from these wonderful projects. Many thanks go out to the people at Arch Coal Foundation and the people at West Elk Mine for their support of teachers in Delta County schools."  

Wyckoff said the applications were carefully reviewed by a panel of judges. "The judges felt that every application had worthy goals," Wyckoff said. "The judges did an excellent job and really focused on how the teacher would introduce his or her innovative idea into the classroom or school. I think this program proves that Delta County has some very creative, professional educators."

Based on the response from the county's teachers and the quality of the ideas, Wyckoff said the Arch Coal Foundation plans to continue the program again in the next school year. He said he expects that application materials will be available perhaps as early as May 2008, so that teachers may suggest innovative ideas that could be applied in the fall or spring semester of the next school year.

Arch Coal, Inc. is one of the nation's largest coal producers. The company's core business is providing U.S. power generators with clean-burning, low-sulfur coal for electric generation. Through its national network of mines, Arch supplies the fuel for approximately 6 percent of the electricity generated in the United States. The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: ACI) and maintains its corporate headquarters in St. Louis, Mo. Mountain Coal Company's West Elk Mine is located in Somerset, Colo. Nearly 400 people are employed at West Elk.