GILFORD — In an unusual and generous move, student recipients of a Gilford Education Endowment Fund (GEEF) fisheries grant have returned money made from their project back to the fund.
One of the recent awards, usually made near the end of the school year for projects in the next academic year, was called "Trout in the Classroom". The GEEF grant provided $1,800 to 8th grade social studies teacher Rob Meyers and 8th grade science teacher Nancy Allen with which they bought two fish tanks that were stocked with trout by the N.H. Department of Fish and Game.
Once the trout were about an inch long, the students released them into Gunstock Brook as part of the state trout stocking program.
What was a little different about this grant, said Derek Tomlinson, the chair of the GEEF board that determines the awards, was the students created business plans to pay for the trout program.
"For these kids to put together a business plan for each of these classrooms was an amazing thing," said Tomlinson.
He said they baked trout-shaped dog biscuits, created art projects including clay bowls and sold these and other items at various school functions. All totaled, the students raised $250 and chose to return it to GEEF for reinvestment in future projects.
Tomlinson said that typically GEEF, which was founded about five years ago, funds about five projects a year that cannot be included in the annual school district budget.
"This year we funded three robotics programs — one for each school," said Tomlinson. He said the program has funded solar cars at Gilford Elementary School and co-funded a 3-D color printed along with the school district.
Tomlinson said at the beginning of GEEF many laptops were purchased and distributed to various schools for various projects, but now the program has shifted to funding very technology-driven and specialized projects that cannot be realistically incorporated into the district budget.
For more information about GEEF or to make a donation, please contact Superintendent Kent Hemingway at 527-9215 for instructions.
CUTLINE: (Trout) Derek Tomlinson accepts a check from three former eighth graders and now freshman in high school. From left to right is Tomlinson, Laurel Normandin, Nicole Berube, and Josey Curley. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Gail Ober)
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