POSTED ON MAY 23, 2012:
Library contest offers cash to young writers. Tulsa County students who are budding writers can win cash in the Tulsa City-County Library's annual Young People's Creative Writing Contest.
Now in its 28th year, the context accepts entries in four categories: short story (1,500 words or less), informal essay (1,500 words), poetry (300 words or less) and short play (no more than 10 pages).
Top prizes of $100 are awarded in four age divisions, along with $50 second-place prizes and $25 third-place awards. All contestants must be ages 10 through 18, with entries accepted until June 4.
Award-winning short plays will be presented by the Tulsa Performing Arts Center Trust at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center, while winners in other categories will be invited by Public Radio Tulsa, 89.5 KWGS-FM to record their work for possible broadcast.
Entry forms can be found at all library locations or online at teens.tulsalibrary.org.
Rich Get Richer. Jenks Public Schools has announced an historic gift of $1.1 million aimed at reducing the student-teacher ratio for kindergarten through eighth grade.
Jenks Public Schools will immediately begin plans to determine how best to leverage the gift, which was stimulated by concerned parents who committed $1.1 million. Danny and Stephanie Christner, heading the donor effort, said they became involved because they wanted to see better student-to-teacher ratios in their local public school district.
"We believe strong communities have excellent public schools," said Danny Christner. "Jenks Public Schools is a wonderful educational system, but we know classroom size can make a difference, and we want to do our part to improve on the current ratio."
Jenks Public Schools currently has a student-to-teacher ratio of 28:1, meaning that, on average, there is one teacher for every 28 students, district-wide.
The Coalition of Essential Schools states that student-to-teacher ratio should not exceed 20:1 at the elementary level and 80:1 in secondary schools. State of Oklahoma statutes limit class sizes to 20 at the elementary level. Jenks and other districts receive exemptions from this statute due to the district's amount of bond indebtedness. Smaller student-to-teacher ratios allow for more one-on-one interaction, deeper understanding of subjects, and expanded reading ability at the lower grade levels.
While state funding is an important element determining the resources of public education, Jenks officials explained the important role of parents and citizens in accelerating meaningful change.
"This commitment demonstrates the generosity and dedication of the parents in our district, as well as, encouraging other parents, alumni, and community partners to join them in making a difference in education at Jenks," said Marlo Duffy, Executive Director of the Jenks Public Schools Foundation.
The Jenks Public Schools Foundation is an independent not-for-profit corporation that invests in programming to achieve district-wide excellence. The sole reason for its existence is to serve the Jenks Public Schools system along with the generous donors who support the district. The JPS Foundation has provided funding for Vision of Excellence Awards, Classroom Grants to teachers, Junior Achievement Biztown Curriculum, student support and other programs. The JPS Foundation achieves its mission through contributions from alumni, families, and corporate support. Visit jenksfoundation.org to learn more.
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