The August winner of the One Class At A Time award is Breanna Sewell.
She teaches third grade at Cabot Yerxa Elementary School in Desert Hot Springs.
Mrs. Sewell nominated herself for the $500 prize to purchase more math manipulatives for her classroom.
She said she had been provided with enough manipulatives for students to share with a partner.
However, due to Covid-19, she is not allowed to have her students share supplies.
Mrs. Sewell said “money is one of the manipulatives that we are going to be working with in third grade."
She added "instead of passing out dollar bills of my own, I’d like to get kind of like a play set of money so the kids could see what the dollar bill -- what the five dollar bill looks like. They can see the coins, so we can make some different connections so they can compare what four quarters is, and a dollar."
Sewell also plans to spend part of the money on expanding her classroom's book collection.
She said “I have over 500 books that I’ve either purchased or friends have donated to my library and I plan to build up my LGBTQ library a little bit stronger because that’s where I feel like I'm lacking the most.”
The elementary school teacher has made education a top priority.
She said “one thing that I hear a lot from students is that having an education is expensive, but they don’t want to put that burden on their families to have to take care of. So if we can start talking about investing in their current education, and investing in their future education, we can start building up those volunteer hours, and we can start building up those incredible essays that they’ll have to write for scholarship applications.”
The $500 award is made possible by the Walter Clark Legal Group.
Mr. Clark said his legal group wants to help compensate teachers for some of the out of pocket costs for school materials that are not uncommon
He added they “recognize that they, teachers, do this all the time. They’re not overpaid and they only get a $250 deduction from their taxes for contributions they make.”
Clark also said he thinks Mrs. Sewell "is special because she is incredibly dedicated and committed to her profession, to her community, to her school, and to her students.”
He congratulated her for accepting the position of third grade teacher in the middle of a pandemic.
If you'd like to apply to be next month's One Class At A Time award, go to kesq.com.