Gardens Elementary music teacher Kimberly Buskirk has been named the recipient of an ING "Unsung Heroes" grant of $2,000 for her submission of a literacy project that was chosen as one of the top 100 in the nation.
The award is intended to fund Buskirk's "Linking Literacy" program, which combines formal art and music instruction with language arts.
Buskirk will now compete for one of three top prizes to awarded by the "Unsung Heroes" program. The program's top award grants are for $5,000, $10,000 and $25,000.
The objective of Buskirk's "Linking Literacy" program is to increase vocabulary, fluency, word-study skills and oral language development while exposing students to various genres of music and art. As students experience great literature, they explore each story through music and art elements.
Funds from the ING program will be used to purchase materials to implement Buskirk's project, including CDs and DVDs, art supplies and musical equipment.
ING, a leading provider of retirement plans and programs for teachers, launched the "Unsung Heroes" program 15 years ago to demonstrate the company's commitment to education. Over that period, the program has awarded 1,600 teachers nearly $3.8 million in grants to fund breakthrough projects.
Buskirk's project was one of more than 1,400 submitted for consideration.