Sondheim Awards presented to 7 teachers in D.C.

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Kennedy Center in Washington is honoring seven teachers across the country with $10,000 grants for inspiring and influencing their students.

The grants announced Friday are given each year on the birthday of Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim. He turns 83 this year. The grants were created in his honor.

This year's honorees include: Nancy Barile of Revere, Mass.; Denney Daetz of Meadow Vista, Calif.; Amy Dunaway-Haney of Dayton, Ohio; Langston Fitzgerald of State College, Pa.; Cheryl Foster of Wakefield, R.I.; Mike Sinclair of Kalamazoo, Mich. and William Ward, of Brandon, Fla.

Sondheim says teachers shaped his life. His musicals include "Follies," ''Sweeney Todd" and lyrics for "West Side Story."

Teachers from kindergarten through college are eligible for the grants. The Kennedy Center accepts nominations for the awards online.