Verizon Wireless Awards Kansas Department of Education a $30,000 Grant

moblie communications companyIf students in Kansas are about to sign up with a cell phone provider, they should probably consider signing on with Verizon Wireless. This isn’t based on the cost of quality of cell phone service that the provider offers in the state, but instead it based on a somewhat strange factor. What is this factor? The fact that the cell phone company recently announced plans to donate $30,000 to the Kansas Department of Education in a grant.

The grant will be given to the state in order to help fund the training of teachers on the Common Core Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics. These standards were adopted by the state of Kansas in October 2010 and the funds will be used in the implementation of the plan.

“Verizon Wireless is proud to support the Kansas Department of Education and its undertaking to implement the Common Core Standards in classrooms across the state,” said Brendan Fallis, the Verizon Wireless president of the Kansas/Missouri region. “The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills needed for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy.”

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Three Universities Receive Grants to Fight Bed Bugs

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is doing its share to combat bed bugs. The government agency announced on Thursday that it is giving $550,000 in grants to five organizations, three of which are universities. The EPA hopes these grants will create innovative methods in bed-bug pest control.

These grants will be used to serve immigrant, low-income and minority neighborhoods where bed-bug infestations are most prevalent.

“Low-income communities suffer disproportionately higher bed bug infestation rates,” Rutgers University entomologist Changlu Wang wrote in his grant proposal. “Unfortunately, low-income communities lack the necessary resources and knowledge to cope with rapidly expanding bed bug infestation.”

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Public College Tuition Jumps Nearly Eight Percent

piggy bank moneyThough it is still cheaper to go to a public university than a private one, a recent spike in college costs this fall is narrowing the gap between private tuition and public tuition.

However, this narrowed gap is nothing new. Over the past ten years, public school tuition has increased at an annual rate of 5.6 percent, while private schools have increased at an annual rate of three percent.

The average public in-state tuition rose nearly eight percent this fall. That’s an increase of between $555 and $7,605. As for private schools, their cost went up 4.5 percent, or $1,164 to $27,293, according to a College Board report called “Trends in College Pricing.” Read the rest of this entry »

2011-2012 FAFSA Now Available

fafsa formsWhen preparing to go to college, one thing can help you more than anything else – get started early. If you think you might want to go to college or are sure of it, you should get the process started as soon as you can. One thing that many students will fill out in preparation for college is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or the FAFSA.

Filling out the FAFSA will help give you access to government funds to pay for your education. The information you provide will determine what type of funds you are eligible for and whether you qualify for grants, which do not have to be paid back. Students seeking access to these government funds must fill out a FAFSA for each school year.

Now the FAFSA for the 2011-2012 school year is available for students to complete online. The sooner you fill out your online FAFSA and get it filed, the sooner you will know what funds you can receive to help fund your education. Read the rest of this entry »

National PTA Gives Grants to 22 Schools to Fight Childhood Obesity

National PTAParent Teacher Associations across the country are being awarded live-healthy grants in honor of this year’s National PTA’s Healthy Lifestyle Month in November.

National PTA President, Charles J. “Chuck” Saylors announced, “It’s no secret that we have a childhood obesity epidemic in this country. Statistics show that over the past three decades, childhood obesity rates in America have tripled and nearly one in three American children is overweight or obese. So, we’re proud of all the PTAs across the country who are taking the initiative to keep our kids healthy.”

We are too, Chuck. It’s time for everyone to stop complaining and talk about possible solutions. It’s time to take charge and fix this problem. We have to remember that obesity is nearly 100 percent preventable. Read the rest of this entry »

College Dropouts Waste Billions of Taxpayer Dollars

moneyIf you’re thinking about dropping out of college, think about whose money you’re wasting. You could be wasting your own hard earned cash or your parents’, but I bet you never considered how dropping out of college wastes taxpayers’ money.

According to a study released on Monday, states have spent almost $6.2 billion on students who did not come back for their sophomore year. Additionally, states spent $1.4 billion, and the federal government spent $1.5 billion in grants for students who didn’t come back the following year.

The study, “Finishing the First Lap: The Cost of First-Year Student Attrition in America’s Four-Year Colleges and Universities” acquired data from four-year colleges and universities between 2003 and 2008. The dollar amounts for the study were based on government data and configured by the nonprofit American Institutes for Research. Read the rest of this entry »

Obama’s Race to the Top Finalists Announced

UPDATE [1/27/11]: President Obama discussed the success of Race to the Top in his State of the Union address on January 25th. “Race to the Top in the most meaningful reform of our public schools in a generation. For less than one percent of what we spend on education each year, it has led over 40 states to raise their standards for teaching and learning…and Race to the Top should be the approach we follow this year as we replace No Child Left Behind with a law that’s more flexible and focused on what’s best for our kids.” Since the program’s initiation, it has help 25,000 schools nationwide and 13.6 million students, according to White House statistics.

School budgets have been stretched tight with the nation’s recent economic recession. Last year in my hometown, Wichita, KS, several schools were forced to give up yearly field trips. And this year, the school district is proposing to do away with driver’s education. Hopefully with Obama’s Race to the Top competition, some states will be able to lessen this financial strain.race to the top

As of July 27, eighteen states and the District of Columbia could win part of the $3.4 billion in education grants to assist in an overhaul of education policies.

In this second round of the competition, federal officials say they anticipate 10 to 15 winners that will receive federal financing. The winning states will be revealed in September.

Here are the 19 finalists: Arizona, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and South Carolina. Read the rest of this entry »

Sonic’s Limeades for Learning Supports Public School Teachers

limeades for learningSonic, America’s Favorite Drive-In, has launched a new campaign aimed at benefiting public school teachers and their students around the country. The “Limeades for Learning” program allows any customer the opportunity to vote for their favorite teacher’s project and secure a chance to win $200 to $400 towards a grant to complete the proposed idea.

In partnership with, Sonic is donating more than half a million dollars towards projects that receive the most votes. All you have to do is head over to your nearest Sonic restaurant, order a beverage (Sonic premium roast coffee-based drinks and Whacky Pack meal drinks are excluded) and vote on your favorite teacher’s project. Read the rest of this entry »

$10,000 Grant Opportunity from Brita’s Filter For Good EcoChallenge

filter for good ecochallengeSo you chose a college based on a variety of standards you had in mind for yourself – maybe it was teacher/student ratio, athletic programs, graduate assistance, tuition costs, distance from home, or others. Now that you’re on campus you’re faced with two problems: Paying tuition and having a greener college.

If you need some extra cash and scoff at your roommate printing emails, water bottles abandoned on table tops and not enough commuter support, then the Filter For Good EcoChallenge from Brita was created just for you. Here is how you can be one of five green-conscious students to earn this $10,000 grant:

  • Brita is challenging you to brainstorm a brilliant program to help your campus go green and become more sustainable
  • Proposals should be action-based or able to create tangible results that yield a more sustainable campus environment Read the rest of this entry »

Ohio Plan Turning Graduates Into Homeowners

If the Ohio Senate has its way, its in-state graduates could also become homeowners. “Grants for Grads” is a $2 million grant program that proposes college graduates receive anywhere from $2,500 to $10,000, depending on level of degree earned, payable toward the down payment on a new home. The recipients must agree to live in the state of Ohio for no less than five years.young homeowners

To be eligible for one of the 300 grants, students will have to register within 60 days of graduation and have 12 months to use it.

“If we truly want to get our economy back on track, Ohio cannot afford to lose the next generation of skilled workers to other states,” said Sen. Stephen Buehrer, R-Delta, who is sponsoring the bill. “This program will provide an extra incentive for our best and brightest to purchase their own homes and become invested in our communities.”

It’s a win-win for students who might not otherwise have the funds available to purchase a new home and create room in their budgets to pay toward student loans. Also a way to stimulate the housing market in Ohio.

Do you think it’s a plan that could work in other states?


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