Amanda King

North Lamar High School teacher Amanda King recently received a little more than $1,100 for culinary supplies through Sonic Drive-In’s competitive Limeades for Learning grant program.

One North Lamar High School teacher will be able to cook up a good time for her students, thanks to a grant she received through Sonic Drive-In.

Amanda King, who teaches Introduction to Culinary Arts, applied to the Sonic Limeades for Learning program and ended up being selected as one of the few recipients.

“You go to them and you tell them, ‘Hey, this is something about my kids, this is the project I want to teach and these are the items I need,’” King said. “You can then share a link out to Twitter or Facebook or whatever, and then people can chip in and help get your project funded.”

For King, the project she chose was something she said she’s wanted to do with her students for a long time: cookie decorating.

Throughout October, people voted online for the projects they wanted to see funded, and King’s project, which she titled “3, 2, 1 — Decorate!” was funded each week, earning the full amount possible.

The project was funded in large part because of her students, who really got into the competitive spirit of the campaign, King said.

“Each day, they’d come in and tell me that they got a limeade from Sonic just to vote, and they’d be asking me how it was going,” she said with a chuckle. “One of my students told me they had about eight emails, and I was like, ‘Great, you can vote with each of them.’”

King said she never knew how her project was doing compared to the other projects up for voting; she only knew that her project was garnering enough votes to stay alive each week.

In total, King said, her project made a little over $1,100 to be spent on project supplies. She put that money to good use, and purchased Cricut stencils, air brush machines, rolling pins and other various supplies used in cooking and decorating cookies.

King hasn’t had a chance to teach the cookie decorating lesson yet, but said she plans on starting it shortly after the next semester begins. She and her students are excited for the lesson to start, she said.

“I chose cookie decorating because it’s a lot of fun, but it’s also something that, if the students are really good at it artistically, they could take out of high school and maybe pursue a career with it,” she said. “That’s really big right now, and a lot of people are wanting to go into decorating and a lot of people are going with cookies and things instead of cakes.”

The process was not only fun, but one King said was incredibly beneficial, and she advises other teachers to take part in it in years to come.

“It was surprisingly easy, because I had the kids take part in it and help me out,” King said. “I imagine it’d be harder if it’s elementary school because you can’t get your students to help out as easily, but there are different ways you can do it. I also put the links on Facebook.”

King also said she plans on taking part in the grant program in future years.

though she doesn’t yet know what projects to do in future campaigns.

“I have time to figure it out,” she said with a laugh.

“Our Fall Voting Campaign is a special time for us to celebrate exceptional public school teachers who make a difference in communities across the country, including those in Paris,” said Christi Woodworth, vice president for public relations for Sonic. “With the help of our fans, we donated $1 million for teachers to have access to different teaching tools that otherwise wouldn’t be provided through traditional funding methods.”

Tommy Culkin is a staff writer for The Paris News. He can be reached at 903-785-6972 or at tommy.culkin@theparisnews.com.

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