Teachers Ginger Brakke and Linda Walker
Win the Golden Apple Award
The Christensen Law Firm Gives $100 Gift Card For Classroom Supplies
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DRAPER, UT, April 9 – The School Supplies Gift Program, sponsored by Utah-based Christensen Law Firm, is pleased to announce that Ms. Ginger Brakke, a fifth grade teacher at Grant Elementary, and Ms. Linda Walker, a fifth grade teacher at Ridgecrest Elementary, are the next recipients of the Golden Apple Award.
Ms. Ginger Brakke, also known as the “Origami Lady,” has been running an After School Tutoring Program for the past 15 years. She runs the program, “twice a week, all year long.” This program accomplishes many things, one of which is to help those who need to do, “community service or work off negative circumstances,” and does so in a safe, “non-threatening, [and] positive way.” Parents and students have mentioned how appreciative they are for the program. Ms. Brakke does not get compensated for her time while running the program. She has sought and received grants and funding from other sources to fund the program’s expenses, but has not received funding for this year. Because the funding has dried up, she has been forced to buy materials out of her own pocket, which add up.
As the “Origami Lady,” Ms. Brakke visits other classrooms teaching students geometry by the use of origami. For a small fee, she will teach a 40 minute lesson. The money she charges goes to supplies and travel expenses; her time is not compensated for.
Ms. Linda Walker has been widely recognized as an influential teacher throughout Utah. Last year, she was named Ridgecrest Elementary teacher of the year. Just last month, she was named Utah Educator of the Year by a non-profit group called A.R.T.S. Inc., Artistic Resource for Teachers and Students Inc. The Salt Lake Tribune published a story on her and her teaching methods, which incorporate art in order to teach subjects as dissimilar as math and social studies. She said, “I don’t know if people know how important art is. There’s a lot of research that states how much better students do if they take art classes.”
In a recent correspondence with Mrs. Walker, she told of a story about a young lady in one of her classes that she just couldn’t reach. Her behavior demonstrated that she had no desire to be in school. Mid-way through the year, Mrs. Walker had the students perform a play from Shakespeare. She said, “I watched this young woman transform before my eyes once we started working with the play. She began to love school and her smile enveloped her face.” A few years later Mrs. Walker and the girl met up at a poetry recital. The girl gave her a big hug, thanked her, and said that Mrs. Walker “had saved her life.” Again, Mrs. Walker’s influence has truly been felt.
About the School Supplies Gift Program
Ken Christensen and Russ Hymas, owners of the Christensen Law Firm, recently started the School Supplies Gift Program to help public school teachers get extra classroom supplies without having to spend their own money. Each week the program gives the Golden Apple Award, which includes a $100 OfficeMax gift card, to a deserving Utah public school teacher and his/her class. Anyone can nominate a teacher for this program, including teachers, students, parents and administrators.