By Lynn Cordes LPS Communications Coordinator
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla._Heading into its 25th year, the Lawton Public Schools Foundation continues its legacy of enlightenment with the funding of technology, programs, materials and extra-curricular activities for local students.
The nonprofit finished strong last year, awarding more than $82,000 in total toward educational endeavors, and funding one very special trip for a group of juniors at Eisenhower High School.
By way of a $3,000 LPSF "Touching History" grant, Eisenhower social studies teacher Paula Bowen accompanied more than 50 students to the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum and the Oklahoma State Capitol in March. She described the outing as both "emotional" and "eye-opening," as many of her students experienced visiting these locations for the first time during the field trip.
"No words could really describe the importance of that grant," Bowen said. "The Lawton Public Schools Foundation does such great work and affords such great opportunities to teachers to be able to step outside of the four walls of a classroom so students can learn in a different capacity."
Bowen said student Michael Michaelis was so touched while reading about one particular victim at the Oklahoma City National Memorial that he requested permission to donate a piece of memorabilia to a museum exhibit.
"Michael donated his Eagle Scout belt buckle – which he had to work very hard for – because he found out the victim had also been an Eagle Scout," Bowen said.
The buckle is now on display beneath the photo of late Peter DeMaster, who worked in Presumed Location Defense Security Service on the third floor of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, within the museum.
"What LPSF has done for myself and my students is just phenomenal. It's something I will never forget and neither will my students," Bowen said.