Honors Students Successfully Write $2,000 Grant for Council Grove Elementary School

[Bethany, Oklahoma] – [9-19-19] – During the Fall 2018 semester, three SNU students—Katelyn Helwig, Jason Patalano, and Claire Tillis—applied for a literacy grant on behalf of Council Grove Elementary School.  The SNU Honors program is thrilled to announce that the grant has been funded.

First-year Honors students engage in service learning throughout their freshman year coursework.  Every two weeks, they volunteer at Council Grove Elementary, a local Title I school. Each SNU student mentors two CG students over the course of a year, helping the students with reading or math.  In the fall, as part of Honors Academic Writing, Honors students learn how to write grants, and then they apply for various grants on behalf of Council Grove.  Over the past six years of the grant project, Honors students have had fourteen of their grants funded, winning approximately $41,180.  Past grants have funded a reading garden on the school grounds, benches, an audio system for the cafeteria, and field trips.

The Dollar General Literacy Grant, totaling $2,000, will allow the librarian to purchase bilingual children's books as well as books in English featuring diverse children, adults, and authors for the Council Grove library.  Jason Patalano, one of the writers for this grant, discussed the importance of SNU’s participation in community schools like Council Grove, saying, “Many of these kids go to sleep without knowing where their next meal will come from, or whether or not a parent will return home.  And so if we, as a program, as an institution, or even as individuals, can help alleviate some of these kids burdens, it is imperative that we do so.”  Patalano stated that receiving this grant was “like God's approval stamp for what I want to do with my life and career.”  SNU’s Honors Program teaches students how to serve their neighbors in practical ways, benefitting both the students at Council Grove and Honors students alike.