ConVal Art Teacher Ben Putnam was awarded the Daughters of the American Revolution Helen Pouch Memorial Fund Classroom Grant by DAR State Regent Wendy Stanley Jones at the high school faculty meeting on Wednesday.
Sponsored by the Mary Varnum Platts-Peterborough Chapter NSDAR, Putnam was one of fifty-one awards given nationally to classroom teachers for a proposed classroom project. Putnam’s project is for advanced ceramics students to work with a large wood burning kiln at the New Hampshire Institute of Art at the Sharon Arts Center.
“To have wood kilns available for general public participation is rare. I only know of two in New England,” said Putnam. “For high school students to have the opportunity to fire a wood kiln is very rare, and I don’t know of a more innovative way to teach about the interconnectedness of ceramic geology, chemistry, physics, history and art. This is a real-world application opportunity to develop students’ capacity to work collaboratively in the making of work, loading and firing of a very special kiln. These lessons cannot be taught in this particular way outside of this unique opportunity.”
Jones presented Putnam with a certificate and a check for $500 to be used toward the project.
The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution founded in 1890, is a non-profit, non-political volunteer women’s service organization dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history, and securing America’s future through better education for children. The National Junior Membership committee was created in 1937 with the purpose to train younger DAR members and help them to gain leadership experience to carry out the work of the National Society. The Helen Pouch Memorial Fund was created in 1938 with the primary goal to support education. Since its inception, the fund has awarded annual scholarships and supported educational projects at the DAR schools. In an effort to expand the impact of the Helen Pouch Memorial Fund, the committee has established the classroom grant project with the goal of awarding a $500 classroom grant to one classroom in each state, totaling $25,000 in grant awards each year.
Applicants for the Helen Pouch Memorial Fund Classroom Grants must be classroom teachers for grades kindergarten through 12th grade and sponsored by a local DAR chapter. Proposed projects must directly benefit students in the classroom. Funds may be used for supplies and educational programs but the applicant must detail how these items will help to further the educational goals of the DAR.