Boyceville teacher awarded $500 for essay

By Kelsie Hoitomt

BOYCEVILLE – The Wisconsin Alliance for Fire Safety (WAFS) has awarded Ms. Coleen Pember $500 dollars to be used in her 4th grade classroom for her winning entry on fire safety at Tiffany Creek Elementary School.

WAFS was able to award Pember the $500 because of a grant from the Professional Firefighters of Wisconsin Charities, Inc. The grant is part of the annual WAFS Newspapers-in-Education Fire Safety Program that has reached more than 2,000 Wisconsin schools with a 16 page fire safety special section through the partnership with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newspaper.

The contest was open to 4th and 7th grade teachers throughout the state of Wisconsin. There were seven essay winners in the statewide competition and Pember’s essay took second place in the 2012 WAFS “fire and burn prevention teacher essay contest”.

Pember said that she has won this award twice before, but is continuing to improve her fire safety lessons every year.

“I started with science, but now I have added math and reading. Also we have involved the volunteer Boyceville Fire Department quite a bit. I love connecting the community and students,” said Pember. “I will purchase some smoke detectors to be given to some 4th grade students and we will tour our local fire department and also the Menomonie department. I also plan to purchase reading and science materials”.

“During the area/perimeter unit in our Everyday Math Curriculum, all 4th grade students created a scale drawing of their bedrooms. This was a perfect segway to fire escape plans for the students’ homes. The students were required to complete this project and discuss fire escape plans at home with their parents. The scale drawings included the placement of the interior doors, exterior windows, closets and their bed,” wrote Pember in an excerpt from her winning essay.