CenturyLink staff had a surprise for Friday Harbor Elementary School teacher Susan Kareken on April 27 — a roughly $5,000 check.
That morning, students and faculty gathered for an assembly, where students performed a readers’ theater and the choir sang. However, the real reason for the assembly was the surprise award.
“I was completely surprised by the award today,” said Kareken. “I was so excited and honored to win.”
According to CenturyLink, the telecommunication company staff awarded the grant to Kareken to purchase kits for the school’s 320 K-5 students to collaborate on coding projects in the school’s science lab. Future projects may include using code to dim light bulbs or on a sound system for the morning announcements, according to Kareken’s grant application.
“The elementary school is now really becoming a next-generation science and STEM program,” said Kareken. “With this grant, we are so fortunate to be able provide equipment so our island students can be competitive with other students around the country.”
Kareken was one of more than 2,000 grant applications, nationwide, and the 337 who were awarded.
The CenturyLink Clarke M. Williams Foundation’s Teachers and Technology grant program began in 2008 and awards grants of up to $5,000 to teachers in CenturyLink local service areas who have plans to implement technology in their classrooms. CenturyLink has awarded nearly $2 million to Washington state teachers since 2008.
“The grant applications we received this year were creative, innovative and outlined a definite need for technology in the classrooms throughout the state of Washington,” said Sue Anderson, CenturyLink vice president of operations for Washington.