Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

February 29, 2012

Russell mementos

Foundation selling key chains, pens made from old gym floor

RUSSELL — The gym floor at Russell High School, destroyed by flooding at the end of January, will have a new life helping support grants for teachers in the school district.

The Russell Independent Schools Education Endowment Foundation has taken the board from the gym floor and is having them turned into pens and key chains that will be sold to raise money for the foundation, President Christie Addington said.

Addington brought up the first batch to a Russell Board of Education meeting earlier this week and said they were a big hit. The school board voted to donate the gym floor to the foundation several weeks ago.

“People are wanting them like it’s nobody’s business,” she said.

The pens and key chains, which feature the Russell logo, were created by Jennifer Rogal of Pioneer Pens.

In addition to creating high-quality pens and key chains, the group is also hoping to create plaques from the wooden planks of the floor and find a way to flatten the lettering on the gym floor, spelling out “Russell,” so it can sell the letters to those who want a memento of the gym. That may prove difficult because the lettering was severly damaged by water when a water pipe broke on Jan. 29.

“We’ve got some really, really out-of-the-box ideas,” she said.

Money raised from sale of items made from the gym floor will go to support grants for teachers, Addington said.

“It’s going to enhance education,” she said.

In the 2011-12 school year, more than $16,000 in grants was provided by the foundation. That money went toward things such as smart-board technology, graphing calculators and reading improvement programs.

Addington said she hopes the fundraiser will generate enough money for the group to start an endowment that would create a steady stream of income for the group.

She said the foundation has funded many programs that have made a big difference in the lives of students. She mentioned specifically a grant that provided a middle school special education class with a Nintendo Wii system.

Addington said the system helped students to gain confidence, allowed them to challenge their fellow classmates and even helped some nonverbal students become more verbal.

“It’s been a wonderful ride,” she said.

Those who wish to preorder pens and key chains may go to the foundation’s Facebook page and send a message or call or text Addington at (606) 547-1166.

KATIE BRANDENBURG can be reached at kbrandenburg@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2653.

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