Teachers’ dreams come true as Google funds all Kansas City projects on donor website

Turner Sixth-Grade Academy students in an after-school art club will have more art supplies thanks to a donation this week. (Photo courtesy of Donors Choose)
Turner Sixth-Grade Academy students in an after-school art club will have more art supplies thanks to a donation this week. (Photo courtesy of Donors Choose)

Last year, Alyssa Passmore purchased a lot of art supplies out of her own pocket for the Turner Sixth Grade Academy after-school art club.

She said she was completely surprised on Wednesday when she learned that Google had funded her request for $398 for art supplies for the Doodle Dogs Art Club on the DonorsChoose.org website.

Not only was her request funded, but also funded by Google was every request on that website from teachers in the Kansas City area.

Working with art projects after school helps her sixth-grade students spend time in a positive and productive way, she said in her request for funds.

“The kids are absolutely thrilled that they’re getting more supplies than we can fund,” she said.

Like a lot of teachers, Passmore sometimes uses her own funds to buy supplies for the students.

Last year, Passmore got some donations from Savers of supplies, and she asked her teacher friends if they could donate an extra gallon of paint for the students’ projects. The Donors Choice website also helped her fund a clay art project earlier this year.

While she does receive a budget for supplies and has a very supportive administration that has increased the funding for art supplies, these funds will allow her students to do some extra enriching projects, she said.

The Turner sixth-grade students will use this funding for making wire sculptures, finger crocheting, mobiles, and inspirational posters for the school, she said.

“Now with this funding I can do my dream projects with the kids,” Passmore said.

In one day, Google made the wishes of 23 teachers come true in Wyandotte County, funding classroom projects valued at more than $64,000, according to the staff of Donors Choose.

In the Kansas City metro area, the total was estimated to be almost $200,000 for 152 classroom projects. Google funded every teacher request in the Kansas City area that was on the DonorsChoose.org website. Only public schools are listed on this website.

Chris Pearsall of Donors Choose said that Google funded teachers’ projects in several cities recently, including San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Chicago and Austin. After the news hits about projects being funded, they hear comments from other teachers that they’d wish they’d known about it and had put a request for funding on the website.

But the Google funding also tends to help everyone, as more visitors go to the website and fund the newer projects that are being listed there every day, he said.

Twenty of the Wyandotte County projects funded were from the Kansas City, Kan., Public Schools, while one was from the Piper district and one from the Turner district.

The funding means more classroom laptop computers for students at Whittier Elementary School; iPads for some students at Kennedy Elementary School; as well as tablets and other supplies at other schools in the Kansas City, Kan., Public Schools district.

In the Piper district, Google funded a $24,681 request for Race to 21st Century Learning to buy 50 Apple iPads that will create two mobile 21st Century labs.

A Piper Elementary School teacher stated, “This has been a dream of many Piper Elementary teachers for years. We currently have one to two iPads per classroom that is utilized for student use during the day. Like other schools, we see the world opening up for students due to the user friendly and interactive approach of learning with iPads. However, due to current state funding, it has been put on the back burner for many years. Google has opened the doors for our students to create, explore and learn by providing 50 iPads. This will allow us to create two mobile learning labs where students will use the technology to design apps, write code, and produce movies all based on 21st Century skills and our common core standards. They will be used to their fullest potential and Piper teachers could not be happier about this opportunity for our kids. Thank you, Google.“

Mobile computer labs will be purchased after a donation to the Piper Elementary School. (Photo courtesy of Donors Choose)
Mobile computer labs will be purchased after a donation to the Piper Elementary School. (Photo courtesy of Donors Choose)

Elementary school lunch menus

Kansas City, Kan., Public Schools
Monday, Sept. 8
Ham and cheese sandwich, French fries, broccoli, diced pears and milk.
Tuesday, Sept. 9
Pepperoni pizza, tossed salad, grape tomatoes, orange wedges and milk.
Wednesday, Sept. 10
Taco burger on a bun, romaine lettuce and tomato slice, tortilla chips and salsa, refried beans, banana and milk.
Thursday, Sept. 11
Pasta with meat sauce, garden salad, grapes and milk.
Friday, Sept. 12
Chicken patty, mashed potatoes and gravy, biscuit, green beans, diced peaches and milk.
Alternate entrees include chef’s salad, fruit chef’s salad, and yogurt and muffin basket.

Turner Public Schools
Monday, Sept. 8
Cheese and pepperoni pizza, fresh baked cookie.
Tuesday, Sept. 9
Hot dog or corn dog, snack chip.
Wednesday, Sept. 10
Chicken drummie, bread stick.
Thursday, Sept. 11
Spaghetti with meatballs.
Friday, Sept. 12
Cheese bread, sauce.
All Turner lunches include a fruit and veggie bar, and milk. Additional daily lunch entrée choices include yogurt-cheese-muffin basket or peanut butter and jelly basket.

Piper Public Schools
Monday, Sept. 8
Cheeseburger; French dip, sweet potato fries, broccoli with dip, apple, mandarin oranges; turkey chef salad, peas, apple, mandarin oranges and blueberry fruit muffin.
Tuesday, Sept. 9
Barbecued chicken nachos; peanut butter and jelly with cheese stick, garden salad, Texas pintos, cantaloupe, applesauce; taco chef salad, Texas pintos, cantaloupe, applesauce and tortilla chips.
Wednesday, Sept. 10
Chicken patty – grilled chicken; roast turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy, green beans, grapes, pineapple and roll; chicken Caesar chef salad, baby carrots with dip, grapes, pineapple, roll and crackers.
Thursday, Sept. 11
Chicken Alfredo with Italian bread; corn dog, carrot coins, spring mix salad, cheesy cauiliflower popcorn, banana, tropical fruit; Italian chef salad, carrot coins, banana, tropical fruit and Italian bread.
Friday, Sept. 12
Cheese pizza; mozzarella dunkers with marinara, Caesar side salad, baby carrots with dip, roasted corn, melon and peaches; popcorn chicken salad, roasted corn, melon, peaches and fruit streusel muffin.

Bonner Springs Public Schools

Monday, Sept. 8
Cheeseburger; three-cheese grilled cheese, sweet potato fries, broccoli with dip, apple, mandarin oranges; turkey chef salad, peas, apple, mandarin oranges and blueberry fruit muffin.
Tuesday, Sept. 9
Barbecue chicken nachos; chicken nuggets, garden salad, Texas pintos, cantaloupe, applesauce; taco chef salad, Texas pintos, cantaloupe, applesauce and tortilla chips.
Wednesday, Sept. 10
Chicken patty – grilled chicken; Swiss steak, mashed potatoes with gravy, green beans, grapes, pineapple, roll; chicken Caesar chef salad, baby carrots with dip, grapes, pineapple, roll and crackers.
Thursday, Sept. 11
Chicken Alfredo with Italian bread; meatball sub, carrot coins, spring mix salad, cheesy cauliflower popcorn, banana, tropical fruit; Italian chef salad, carrot coins, banana, tropical fruit and Italian bread.
Friday, Sept. 12
Cheese pizza; sun butter and jelly sandwich with yogurt, Caesar side salad, baby carrots with dip, roasted corn, melon, peaches; popcorn chicken salad, roasted corn, melon, peaches and fruit streusel muffin.

All menus from all districts are subject to change.

Residents coping well with high heat this week

by Mary Rupert

People in Wyandotte County seem to be coping fairly well with the high temperatures and heat advisories this week.

Kansas City, Kan., Assistant Fire Chief Craig Duke, public information officer, said that there were only three heat-related calls so far during this time. The three were treated at the scene and then transported to the hospital for evaluation, he added.

The Fire Department has a plan that will be put into place for firefighters in the event of extreme heat. Duke said personnel are rotated more quickly, and extra apparatus are brought in to relieve the firefighters on the scene.

Also, on days like today, an air-conditioned vehicle is brought to the scene so that firefighters can sit in it to cool off, and drink fluids to replace electrolytes, he said.

A heat advisory continues in effect today, as temperatures are expected to reach a high of 93, with a heat index as high as 99 degrees. There have been several days of high temperatures. Temperatures currently are predicted to decline a few degrees in the next few days.

“We have only had two heat-related cases in the last week,” said Bob Hallinan, spokesman for the University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City, Kan. “Neither were admitted; they were brought in, treated, given plenty of fluids, cooled off and released.”

People may be paying attention to the warnings they hear about the hot weather, he added. “When it gets this hot, people actually do pay attention to the media and stay in,” he said.

Many students started school last week, and athletic practices have already started. Most students are in air-conditioned classes during the hottest part of the day.

“We’re lucky. Our facilities are all air-conditioned with the exception of a couple gyms,” said Jason Dandoy, spokesman for the Turner Public Schools. “One of those we are replacing as part of the Oak Grove Elementary School.”

Dandoy said Turner’s learning environments are not affected. “When kids come back from recesses, we’re making sure they are well hydrated.”

The Turner athletic department has delayed the start of athletic practices on high heat days, and also is giving the students frequent water breaks, he said.

Doug Key, Piper athletic director, said the Piper football coaches are using the Kansas State High School Activities Association guidelines on giving water when they should, and students are not wearing all of their equipment until it is needed.

The time of the practices has not had to be altered, he added. So, far, there have been no heat-related illnesses there. Piper is planning its Purple-White scrimmage on Thursday.