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February 16, 2012 at 2:01 PM

Gates campaign recap: $500K donated, 2,000 local teachers helped

Nearly 2,000 teachers across King County received grants for classroom expenses from a recently-finished Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation campaign, the organization announced Thursday.

Some 200,000 students benefited from the grants, which totaled half a million dollars, according to a news release. The campaign began in October.

Most of the grant recipients were in economically-disadvantaged South King County, including 267 in Highline and 236 in Kent, along with 554 in Seattle.

“These dollars will go to schools in communities where the need is greatest and help prepare students to compete in an increasingly skilled workforce,” said Mary Jean Ryan, executive director of the Community Center for Education Results, which staff the Road Map Project, a group working to improve results in that region.

The grants included money for books, field trips, microscopes and snacks.

Organizers and teachers called the project a practical way to improve education on a classroom level.

“When your books arrived, my students were so incredibly excited,” said Katherine Henry, a kindergarten teacher at Seattle’s Hawthorne Elementary, in the news release. “These same kids, who only a few months ago were just looking at the pictures and pretending to read, are now confidently making their way through level A, B, C and even level D books! I have no doubts that they will be ready for 1st grade next year.”

Comments | More in Education | Topics: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, school grants, South King County

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