Bartlesville Public Schools

Posted: Jan 17, 2020 9:35 AMUpdated: Jan 17, 2020 9:41 AM

BPS Foundation Hosts Successful Scholars Showcase

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Garrett Giles

The Bartlesville Public Schools Foundation held its Scholars Showcase on Thursday night at the Hopestone Loft in Downtown Bartlesville.

Executive Director Blair Ellis said it was a great opportunity for the Foundation to highlight some of the grants and the initiative for the Bartlesville Public Schools district. She said having teachers and students there to demonstrate the grants they have received was unique for the Foundation's guests and donors.

Ellis said the Bartlesville Public Schools Foundation was able to provide approximately $186,000 during the 2018-2019 school year. She said they were able to impact over 400 teachers and 6,000 students.

Specifically for STEM - science, technology, engineering, and mathematics - the Foundation set a goal, and met that goal, of raising over $100,000. This helped them cap out their fundraising initiative for that, which was $300,000 goal over the past three years.

This would not be possible without a giving community. Ellis said she is thankful for all of the support for the Foundation.

The Bartlesville Public Schools Foundation's primary program started in 1985. Ellis said this is their grants to teachers. She said the Foundation raises money that teachers can apply for through grant applications.

The teachers within the Bartlesville Public Schools district can apply for grants that can cover projects or programs for their class. The grants can bring experts to a teacher's class or it can send teahcers to classes or seminars across the United States so they can grow professionally themselves.

Secondary to this, Ellis said the Foundation does what they can to fund district prioritized initiatives. This includes the district's Elementary STEM initiative that Foundation has raised funds for the past three years.

Another initiative that was started two years ago is Bruins on the Runs. Ellis said this an after school running and mentoring program for fifth grade students and their teachers. She said this program started on a collaboration grant with the Bartlesville Community Foundation.

A new initiative hs been added this year with the growing Agriculture Program that was implemented by Bartlesville Public Schools in August. Marty Jones was hired by the district to be the agriculture teacher for a rapidly growing and successful program.

Ellis said Jones has hit the ground running with eighth and ninth grade students. She said they have already competed in several competitions across the State of Oklahoma and they actually claimed first during one competition in Pawhuska recently.

Growing the program further and continuing to build on the vision for the program is what Jones and the Bartlesville Public Schools Foundtion is striving for. Ellis said they may add another agriculture teacher and more courses for students to take. She said there are about 85 students in the program now.

The Foundation's goal for the agriculture is to raise seed money for capital investments like a plasm cutter. Ellis said this state-of-the-art tool can help the agriculture students develop their welding techniques and skills. She said the Foundation is looking to raise $30,000 for the agriculture program.

Looking ahead for other events that the Bartlesville Public Schools Foundation will put on, Ellis said they will host the Teacher of the Year celebration for the school district. She said this is not a fundraising event for the Foundation.

Hosting this event is the Foundation's way of giving back to the schools and supporting the district's teahcers further. Ellis said the Teacher of the Year event will be a red carpet event at the Bartlesville Community Center that will be hosted by the Bartlesville Public Schools Foundation on behalf of the school district. The free event will last from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 25th.

Pictured below and above are scenes from the Scholars Showcase on Thursday night.



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