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Pictured is Jessica Flens, one of the award winners, receiving her grant award from Dana Boyd, the chair of DKG Zeta Mu's grant committee.

The first few years of teaching are the hardest. Transitioning successfully from student teaching to managing a classroom requires a lot of skill and support. The task got a little bit easier this spring for three Livermore teachers when they were awarded grants from the Zeta Mu chapter of the Delta Kappa Gamma International (DKG) society. Each spring, Zeta Mu distributes small grants to selected teachers who are in their first three years of teaching. Kathy Brooks, co-president of Zeta Mu remarked, “We recognize that early career educators face many challenges. Among them is the expense of outfitting and maintaining a classroom. Our aim is to provide a means by which to enhance the teacher's ability to achieve that goal.”

Interested teachers in Livermore, Pleasanton and Dublin submit applications for the grants, including a summary of how they plan to use the money in their classroom.

Jessica Flens just completed her first year of teaching at Emma C Smith and Rancho Las Positas elementary schools. A science teacher for grades 1, 3 and 5, she asked for money for pocket charts, pointers, and a chart stand so she can retain information from individual classes and review it in their next class meeting.

Kindergarten teacher Catherine Schorman completed her third year of teaching this month at Arroyo Seco school. She requested funds to purchase a kidney bean shaped table to facilitate her small group work with students. This shape table will allow her to see each student’s work more easily.

Haley Boehrer teaches Advanced Placement US History to juniors at Granada High School. She asked for study and review books along with AP test prep books to be used in the classroom and for student checkout. These materials contain concise and complete reviews of the material and suggested study practices.

Dana Boyd, chair of the Early Career Grant Committee for Zeta Mu chapter says, “Zeta Mu cares and strives to support teachers in the community. Our efforts are valued by new teachers, both in terms of monetary support with classroom materials and in the knowledge that members of our community support their efforts to create the best learning environment they can imagine.”

DKG is an international society whose mission is to promote professional and personal growth of women educators and excellence in education. The members of the Zeta Mu chapter of DKG include educators from Pleasanton and Livermore. For information about DKG membership or Zeta Mu’s projects and grants, contact the chapter at presidentdkgzetamu@gmail.com.