Lee’s Summit Educational Foundation’s PEAK Grants were featured May 3 at a meeting of the Jacomo Chapter of the Retired School Personnel. Retired employees heard Sheryl Franke, director of the Lee’s Summit Educational Foundation, share how the PEAK Grant program has grown through the years from roughly $5,000 annual grants to almost $60,000 in classroom grants awarded this year.
PEAK stands for Promoting Excellence And Knowledge, and Lee’s Summit R-7 teachers have the opportunity to apply for the grants annually. Grants ranging from $100 to approximately $3,500 are awarded each year during May by a surprise squad of Foundation Board members, known as the PEAK Patrol.
As of May 2016, a total of 771 PEAK Grants totaling $784,218 had been awarded to staff members. During this school year, 47 PEAK Grants have positively impacted student learning.
Two previous PEAK Grant recipients were on hand to discuss how the grants have affected the students in their classrooms with enhanced learning opportunities. Mark Messner, a teacher at Westview Elementary, explained how his students in the “News Crew” put together their own news programs with the help of equipment purchased by PEAK Grants. Melissa Searls of Lee’s Summit West High School told about how her PEAK Grants have been used by her creative writing students, as well as students in her Sign Language Club. Following their presentation, Mr. Messner and Mrs. Searls were recognized as PEAK Grant recipients for the 2017-18 school year, as well.
Sheryl Franke, Melissa Searls and Mark Messner talk with Lee’s Summit retired teachers about the ways PEAK Grants are used to enhance the learning process in classrooms across the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District.