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Golf class, books on tape and a coffee shop get grants

Lewiston-Porter students will have a little spice added to their academic menu in the coming semester.

Seven district teachers have received grants so they can teach intermediate school pupils to golf; help high school special education students run a coffee shop; challenge middle schoolers with more ambitious books, some of them audio books; and teach high school students more artistic ways to use digital imaging.

Nine mini-grants, worth a total of $7,569 and awarded by the Orleans-Niagara Teacher Resource & Computer Training Center in Cambria, will fund the new programs. The grants range from $400 to $1,000.

Cynthia Bullis, a physical education teacher at Lewiston-Porter Intermediate Education Center, said she and physical education teacher Jason Lesh will use a $1,000 grant to add an introduction to golf program for third-, fourth- and fifth-graders.

"We like to add a new program each year for our kids," Bullis said. "Since golf has been getting popular because of Tiger Woods, we wrote up a proposal. . . . It not only gives them something new, it's a sport they can play all of their lives. Most importantly, it's a game that promotes . . . good sportsmanship, honesty and integrity."

She said she has purchased 30 nine-irons, a bunch of golf balls and three very large targets.

"We'll be teaching them the basic golf swing with clubs designed to hit balls short distances. It's a beginners class," Bullis said.

Lew-Port Middle School librarian Karen Doktor is using her $993 grant to purchase a number of books on compact disc, which cost anywhere from $20 to $150.

"I use them to encourage and help struggling and reluctant student readers to read more," Doktor said.

She said some students work with the book and CD together. Titles include "popular books like the 'Harry Potter' series, even if it is beyond their reading level," she said.

High school special education teacher Ashli Dreher is using a $1,000 grant to have her students run a small coffee and baked goods business, Chapters Coffee Cafe, once a week at the Lewiston Public Library. Students, ages 15 to 18, will develop skills for the workplace.

High school art teacher Mike Townsend is using an $800 grant to teach his students the art of photography and how to take a well-composed picture in digital form. He said digital cameras can make a person lazy because someone can take hundreds of throwaway photos in order to come up with one good one, something a photographer could not afford to do on a roll of film with 24 exposures.

Art teacher Carrie Deneka received a $400 grant to bring in a professional writer to help her yearbook staff become more efficient and interesting writers.

High school art teacher Brett Coppins received grants for $800 and $776. One will be used to have four artists from different fields speak to students.

High school technology teacher Julia Goodwin received grants for $1,000 and $800 to help students with computer work.


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