July 7, 2010

Kim Wendt at it again...this time for $500,000!

UPDATE, July 8: Kim Wendt's wishlist/budget for Mitchell Middle School -- if it wins the $500,000 -- is below.

Original post:

Teacher Kim Wendt is at it again.

Only, this time, the stakes are bigger -- much bigger!

Wendt, you'll remember, won $50,000 from Pepsi for Racine's Mitchell Middle School to revamp its science classrooms. That project is under way, as we reported two weeks ago.

Well, now she's discovered an even bigger prize: $500,000 from Kohl's Dept. Stores. Kohl's, in celebration of Kohl's Cares' 10th anniversary, will donate $500,000 to each of 20 schools.

Wendt discovered the program this morning, soon after it went online. She writes, "I'm still processing it all, but want to jump out to an early start, as many educators take a much-deserved break." (You snooze, you lose, in other words.)

 Wendt, 29, a science teacher at Mitchell for five years, is still mulling over what she'd do to improve the school with that kind of serious cash -- she's meeting with the principal today for ideas. But she writes on the Kohl's Cares website:

"We need a new cafeteria, new concrete and basketballs courts, new band, art, choir, drama, and gym equipment. Technology such as smart boards, i-clickers, color printers, laptops would all be items that we need! Of course we could always use more items."

She hopes to to pull together a budget and plan by the end of the day, as she "hammers out all the details from Kohl's" while sifting through the tool kit they provide.

Individuals are permitted to 20 votes (with a maximum of five for any specific school's project.) So far this morning, Mitchell Middle School has 36 votes... but we're sure that number will increase as soon as Wendt fires up the cross-country team that pushed Mitchell Middle School over the top in the Pepsi Refresh Challenge.

Vote for Mitchell Middle School HERE. It's a Facebook app; if you have trouble getting in, go to the Kohl's Cares website and insert Mitchell Middle in the search box.

And after you vote for Kim's entry, take a look at former Racine teacher Pete Wilson's for a $50,000 Pepsi grant, and vote for his!

UPDATE: After spending time with Mitchell Middle School's principal and head engineer, here's the budget Kim Wendt has proposed to Kohl's -- and voters.
Mitchell Middle School Kohl’s Cares Budget Proposal- It is a work in progress

Facilities Upgrades to Our 180,000 sq. foot Building Built in 1937
  1. An electrical overhaul/upgrade to accommodate our growing technology needs-$75,000
  2. Replacement of old light fixtures/ Installation of more light fixtures-$50,000
  3. New ceiling tiles and a switch from 2’X4’ tiles to 2’ X 2’ tiles to eliminate damaged tiles-$75,000
  4. New paint-$50,000
  5. New Vinyl Composition Tiles- $92,500
  6. New curtains for 2 theaters-$2,000
  7. New divider for gymnasium- $1,000
Landscaping Revival- $50,000
  1. Appropriate shrubbery that is low maintenance and appropriate
  2. Conversion of our courtyard into a functional learning space
  3. Use of the courtyard for environment projects and community involvement
Technology Refresh
  1. Purchase of 60 LCD projectors mounted from the ceilings (one per classroom)- $15,000 (about $250 apiece)
  2. Purchase of 15 Elmo document cameras- $11,250 (about $750 apiece)
  3. Purchase of 15 scanners- $2,250 (about $150 apiece)
  4. Motorized Black Projection Screen for Theater with LCD wall mount- $3500
Furniture Overhaul
  1. Purchase of 25 oval cafeteria tables- $37,500 (about $1,500 apiece)
  2. Conversion of the cafeteria in a multi-purpose flex space when not in use
  3. Purchase of 450 tables for 60 classrooms (about 7 tables per class for 28 students on average per class)-  $45,000 (about $100 apiece)
  4. Purchase of 1,000 chairs- $40,000 (about $40 apiece) 
    TOTAL BUDGET: $500,000

Meanwhile, Kim is on the hunt for votes. By Thursday morning, the project was up to 238 votes...