On May 14, Champions For Learning and CenturyLink surprised Collier County teachers with Teacher and Technology grants to enhance educational opportunities for local school children. During the course of the day, CenturyLink awarded seven grant checks that totaled over $25,600 to seven schools in Naples and Immokalee, as part of an effort that awarded over $108,000 to 27 schools throughout the Sunshine State. The checks will provide teachers with the funds needed to incorporate technology into their classrooms. The Teacher and Technology program, which was established by CenturyLink in 2008, has awarded nearly $11 million since its inception. This program awards grants (up to $5,000) to teachers in CenturyLink’s local service areas who have created an innovative curriculum that allows technology to be implemented in their classrooms. This year, CenturyLink is continuing its commitment to education and students by awarding more than $1.4 million in grants in 34 states to support innovative technology solutions. “CenturyLink recognizes the importance of introducing young people to science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, concepts to better prepare them for successful careers,” said Sondra Smith, CenturyLink director of corporate social responsibility (CSR). “STEM competencies help prepare students to be critical thinkers, persevere through challenges to achieve success, communicate and collaborate across real and perceived barriers, and solve complex problems.” Below are the names of the grant recipients. Rocio Bailey from Immokalee High School with a grant titled iLearn English with an iPad. Debora Mosby from Lake Trafford Elementary with a grant titled Kinder Bots Engineers. Aileen Zapata from Village Oaks Elementary with a grant titled Technology in Music. Yolanda Sohn from Calusa Park Elementary with a grant titled Creating, Communicating, and Critical Thinking through Coding. Brittany Tessier from Corkscrew Elementary with a grant titled Tech Gives the Quietest Students A Voice. The Career and Technical Education Department from Palmetto Ridge High School with a grant titled Sea Perch Robots. Heather Van Osten from Veterans Memorial Elementary School with a grant titled iPAD= iDo, iLearn, iCollaborate, iDifferentiate...iAchieve!