It is a rare opportunity during a difficult time — a grant short to write, fast to process and that came to the door of the entity that needed it.
“It is amazing they reached out to me,” “There are a lot of people wanting to help people during this time.”
Reierson is the principal at Lincoln Elementary School, one of the hundreds of school buildings across the state that has been closed for about two months by executive orders signed by Gov. Laura Kelly to slow the spread of pandemic COVID-19.
Education moved to a home/online model in the wake of the order, and support for children changed dramatically.
However, schools will reopen at some point, and they will need to be ready. That is what Reierson kept in mind when he started writing a grant seeking funds from Globus Medical.
The school was awarded $2,500. Reierson targeted three areas for funding — healthy snacks, recess equipment and books.
All three are important to Lincoln’s future — though it is the books that Reierson seems the most excited about.
“We love books at Lincoln,” Reirson said. “... When school ended we had a lot of kids that had library books out. There is a chance we will not see those books again, I sure hope we will because we have good relationships with our kids. But with the chance that we do not, I can go purchase it and put it in our library. Or we can just go buy books for kids.”
The school participates in some revolving grants for books, and last year had a school-wide book project that put the same title in each student’s hands last year. The school gives away books at family events as well.
Recess equipment — new balls, jump ropes and other items — will be purchased through the grant as well. At Lincoln, there are three recess periods a day.
“Believe it or not that stuff is pretty expensive. I spend about $1,000 a year on that,” Reierson said. “We are pretty set out there, we just need to maintain out there and make sure the kids have nice recess balls, jump ropes and things to get them active.”
The school will also have healthy snacks in the office for students
“If a kid shows up at 9 a.m. and did not have breakfast, the lunchroom is put away and getting ready for lunch,” Reierson said. “This gets them something to eat and takes care of their social-emotional needs.”
Globus Medical is a publicly traded medical device company headquartered in Audubon, Pennsylvania. Representatives of the company reached out to Reierson asking if he would apply for a grant to help students.
“This company was in search of ways they could help students in the United States during this hard time,” Reierson said.