Riedel Foundation presents $3,510.49 grant to replace books for fifth grade students, purchase new educational materials for reading teachers

Mark Twain Elementary School students' expression of thanks echoed through the entire gymnasium when they found out about a Riedel Foundation grant to benefit reading instruction Monday, Nov. 19.

Dr. Kurt Haner shared a “big announcement” with students during their morning assembly — the Riedel Foundation presented a $3,510.49 grant to provide more than $2,300 for new books for fifth grade students and almost $1,200 for new education materials for reading teachers. April Baldwin, Trustee of the Riedel Foundation and Vice President of F&M Bank, presented a check to Principal Karen Wheelan as students, fifth grade teachers and reading teachers applauded.

Title 1 Reading Teacher Cara Baumgardner said the grant would help students in many ways — fifth graders would read new books with shorter sections of text, so they could discuss what they learned with their teachers more frequently. She said as students' reading skills grow, they are ready to read longer texts —when the students read the longer sections of text, they couldn't ask questions and talk with their teachers as often.

“In education, any time you’re awarded a large sum of money, it’s exciting, because it doesn’t come along very often,” she said. “We also know it's going to benefit our children, which is the most exciting part.”

Haner told the students the Riedel Foundation grant was a gift that came just in time for Thanksgiving.

“Our school's booster club also helped sponsor us for this grant,” he said. “I want you to know since the year 2000, the Riedel Foundation has done a lot to help our community and the young people in our community. This is a week that we think about all we are thankful for, and I am really thankful for the Riedel Foundation and the part F&M Bank has played in providing these funds for our school. I am going to count to three, and then let's say 'Thank you, Riedel Foundation' as loud as we can.”