SoDel Concepts grant funds fifth-graders’ trip to Lewes

July 4, 2015

Fifth-grade students at Milton Elementary School got a firsthand look at coastal-area history in May when they visited the Zwaanendael Museum and the Kalmar Nyckel, thanks to a grant from the SoDel Concepts Teacher Fund.

The Rehoboth Beach-based hospitality group awards $500 grants each year to educators who also work for the company, mostly in summers, to supplement their income. The grants are used to offset the costs of programming or classroom supplies - items many teachers fund out of their own pockets.

“We at SoDel Concepts are committed to our local public schools, which welcome and embrace all children in the area,” said Scott Kammerer, president and CEO of SoDel Concepts. “We also understand that there are many children in our district who have a great need. As part of our commitment to community outreach, we designed the SoDel Concepts Teachers Fund to support the teachers who make a positive impact on the lives of these children every day.”

Krissy Patton, who teaches fifth-grade social studies and writing, used the grant for the trip to the museum, which salutes Lewes history and its Dutch roots, and to the Kalmar Nyckel, a replica of the ship that brought Swedish and Finnish settlers to Delaware. “An important part of history is to experience it outside of the classroom,” she said. “The hands-on activities at the Zwaanendael Museum and aboard the Kalmar Nyckel helped students make meaningful connections to the culture and history of the place many of them call home.”

In a thank-you note to SoDel Concepts, one fifth-grader wrote that the best part was learning how sailors fired off cannons. She also learned how people “drove the Kalmar Nyckel.”

Molly Chamberlin, a physical education teacher and coach at Millsboro Middle School, used her SoDel Concepts Teachers Fund grant to purchase athletic tape and pre-wrap for a sports medicine-athletic training unit. She also used it for coaching supplies, and she put aside some funds for students who can’t afford their team uniforms.

Sarah Baird, a second-grade teacher at Allen Frear Elementary School, put the grant toward basic supplies, such as glue sticks, dry-erase markers, erasers and even tissues. The money also went toward apps for the two class iPads.

Bridget Marshall, who teaches American history and contemporary issues at Cape Henlopen High School, also purchased school supplies for children in need, and she bought books to encourage reading during dedicated reading sessions in homeroom, held twice a week.

The SoDel Teachers Fund was developed after research revealed that many grants from educational foundations never reach the teachers or students. SoDel believes in giving back to the community in which it does business and is committed to putting money in the hands of the people who can directly make a difference. For more information, go to