The Missouri Retired Teachers Association and Public School Personnel is an association of retired educators whose purpose is to promote the professional, social and economic welfare of all retired school employees while continuing to support the teacher currently in the classroom.

Missouri Retired Teachers Foundation is a tax-exempt organization for raising funds to carry out certain charitable, educational, scientific and literary purposes of the Missouri Retired Teachers Association.

In 2020, the foundation is giving eight $500 classroom grants in each of its fourteen regions of the state, totaling 112 grants, expending $56,000 for current teachers in the classroom.

Christine Ruder, a second grade teacher in Truman Elementary School of Rolla School District, wrote a grant entitled "Bookcasts: A Student-Created Podcast for Reflecting As a Means to Developing Lifelong Readers" for her students to use multimedia to learn through the habit of thinking and constructing meaning from their experiences. 

Ruder’s class project will "use an iPad to create a podcast of reflections about the stories that they are reading and sharing in class,” thereby learning through books and retaining through the skills they gain in multimedia.  

A panel of retired teachers from across the region selected this grant as one of the eight recipients out of many applications for a third $500 classroom grant from Region 7 MRTA. In addition, ten $500 grants were given to PEERS employees. 

On Sept. 21, Ruder, Truman Principal, Dr. Mandy Welch, Superintendent of Rolla Schools, Mr. Craig Hounsom, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Julie Williams,Sue Jackson, as well as the following members of MRTA and Phelps County Retired Teachers' Association, including Betty Green, President, Susuan Bates, President-Elect, and Cheryl Koederitz gathered for the presentation. Christine was presented with a large replica check for the grant, a certificate from MRTF President, Karen Miller, and a letter of congratulations from MRTA Executive Director, Jim Kreider. Region 7 Missouri Retired Teacher Association Vice-President Georgia White, congratulated Ruder for a fine grant for her second graders.

This marks the third grant Ruder has received from MRTF to help her in her classroom.