Rushville Republican

March 29, 2013

Teacher receives Lilly Endowment grant

Rushville Republican

RUSHVILLE — Once upon a time, an elementary school teacher at Rushville Elementary School West realized a fairy tale come true. She grew up loving fairy tales and dreamt of a place where she too could have three wishes complete with a happy ending. We are here to tell you that fairy tales really can come true!

As fate would have it and much like a fairy tale, fourth grade teacher Brandi Hewitt will be able to realize her own wishes this summer. Last fall she applied for the Lilly Endowment Inc. 2013 Teacher Creativity Fellowship program. We are pleased and proud to announce she is 1 of 100 recipients who received a $10,000 grant. “Since I have always been in love with fairy tales, the structure of my grant is set up much like a fairy tale. There is a fairy godmother, three wishes and a happily ever after ending,” stated Ms. Hewitt.

The first wish involves Ms. Hewitt’s grandmother who grew up in war-torn Germany. Her early childhood memories are a constant reminder of the horrors she faced including; being separated from her family, hiding in bomb shelters, and seeing Jews being herded into cattle cars. This wish involves walking the paths of her childhood and helping her to slay the dragons of her past.

Wish number two takes Ms. Hewitt along the famous Fairy Tale Road in Germany. It is here that Grimm’s Fairy Tales like Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Little Red Riding Hood were written. A special celebration will highlight the 200th Anniversary of the Grimm Brother fairy tales. Our grant recipient hopes to sleep in the Sababurg Castle and perhaps capture a few moments of feeling like a princes.

Her third wish takes her to Disney Artist Events where she’ll be able to meet and talk with the artists and illustrators who add visual imagery to so many of the Grimm Fairy Tales. And, if eating in Cinderella’s Castle happens, that would be great too.

As for that happy ending, it will be a two-fold ending for Ms. Hewitt and her students at RESW. “I want to write a personal family fairy tale photo book that entails all these wishes. I also want to teach my students how to write a personal fairy tale.  We will then place these stories in a time capsule and keep them until graduation. This will become a yearly ritual that I will do with every class. I believe that everyone can create and realize their happily ever after,” stated Hewitt.

Ñ Rushville Republican