POSEN - High-schoolers at Posen Consolidated Schools soon will get their hands on new woodworking tools, thanks to a grant from an education foundation.
Hannah Pontius, the industrial arts teacher for the school, applied for a $5,000 grant from the National Education Association Foundation in 2011, she said. She found out some time around winter break that she had received the grant. Now, she hopes to have a new table saw and planer for her students by the end of the month.
"Our wood shop was severely lacking in workable equipment that was safe for students to use," Pontius said. "On top of that, we support the community as far as, right now I'm building the baseball concession stand, and I'm probably going to be building park benches for the chamber of commerce."
The planer and table saw will cost anywhere from $1,500 to $2,000 apiece, Pontius said. They would replace equipment the school currently has that's in disrepair.
"We really heavily rely on woodworking equipment, and if it's not there, I'm failing the community as well," she said.
Pontius also is hoping to use some of the money to get her students to participate in the Michigan Industrial & Technology Education Society's regional competition in Rogers City in May. The competition consists of students turning in projects for several categories, from architectural drawing to electrical to woodworking. Students whose projects place first through fourth are eligible for the state competition in Saginaw.
This isn't the first time Pontius has sucessfully applied for a grant, and hopefully not the last, she said. Posen is the third district she's taught for, and at each one she's received grants for their industrial arts programs. The next grant she's trying to secure is for up to $1,000 from MITES to take students on a field trip to the Great Lakes Boat Building School in Cedarville.
"I try to take that financial burden off the schools," she said. "It seems to be something that keeps the program around longer if they're not relying on taking stuff out of the budget."
Jordan Travis can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5688.