Carbon PASR (Pennsylvania Association of School Retirees) awarded four educational support grants and honored two chapter members for outstanding service during a recent meeting.

Jill DeLong, educational support chairwoman, presented educational support grants to Pauline Davis, seventh-grade reading teacher, Panther Valley School District; Lori Rodgers, ninth through 12th-grade teacher, Weatherly Area School District; Sharon Leitzel, 12th-grade English teacher, Lehighton Area School District; and Meghan Garrett, school psychologist at Towamensing Elementary School, Palmerton Area School District.

Davis will be purchasing hand-held video recorders for students as they learn how they are influenced by the propaganda in advertising. With the recorders, students will be able to create their own TV commercials as part of the project.

Rodgers will be using the grant to teach worm composting with a winter sowing project for the development of a flower or vegetable container garden in the spring.

Leitzel's project is to acquire a new, updated buzzer system for the Scholastic Scrimmage team in order to practice and use in competition with other schools in Carbon County.

Garrett's project is the "Books to Go" program, which is designed to prevent reading skill regression over the summer break. Over the summer, parents and students will exchange "book bags" every week at the school. Each bag will contain two to three books, flashcards, and family activities.

Also recognized at the meeting were John Lopata, social studies teacher in the Lehighton Area School District; and Michelle Blasiak, learning support paraprofessional at Mahoning Elementary School and Shull-David Elementary School. Earlier in the year at a Lehighton Area School Board Meeting, Carbon PASR presented the Lauretta Woodson Award to Lopata and Blasiak for their outstanding service to the school district.

During the meeting, Marjorie Balliet was inducted into PASR's John J. Dillon Service Hall of Fame for 2013. Balliet served as chairwoman of the Social Service Memorial Honor Fund for a number of years, ensuring that every member receive an annual birthday card, flowers for those over 90, Christmas recognition of all the homebound and disabled, and "get well" notes for those needing some cheering up.

"She knew the names of all these members, and a lot of family members, as well," said chapter President Janet Hall. "She seemed to be genuinely sad at having to put those activities behind her to assume the role of chapter president in 2011."

Member Cindy Sabol was also honored as Carbon PASR's volunteer of the year. Community Service Committee Chairwoman, Mary Ann Ashner, presented the award to Cindy, who had contributed over 1,200 volunteer hours during the past year. Sabol has been a District 9 Director for the Business & Professional Women's organization, as well as actively working with the Lehighton Boys' and Girls' Band.

Carbon PASR welcomed Judith L. Guise, PASR's endorsed candidate this fall for the PSERS board of trustees, as a guest at the meeting.