Snapping Shoals EMC recently awarded $16,000 in grants to Newton County School System teachers through the co-op’s Bright Ideas program. The grants, which are allocated from unclaimed capital credit funds, are designed to help teachers who wish to extend educational opportunities and activities for students by developing student interests and abilities.
“We had many wonderful projects submitted this year,” said Newton County School System grants coordinator Tiffany Merriweather. “It made it very difficult for the judges to narrow down the selections.”
This year’s grant recipients include:
• Andrew Pollard, Newton College & Career Academy. “Petal to the Metal.” Students will increase achievement in Agriculture Mechanics using autocad software and a CNC Plasma Table to develop custom metal designs and establish a school-based enterprise.
• Angela Dean, Fairview Elementary School. “If You Can’t Sing It, Ring It!” Through the purchase of desk bells, music students will learn about pitch, pitch relationships, chord structure, and how it relates to music on a page.
• Bodhy O’Neal, Fairy Kirk Eastside High School. “Eagle T.R.E.A.T.S.” Funds will provide materials for Agriculture students to learn entrepreneurship by developing a product, a business model, and a marketing campaign.
• Catrina Pollard, Eastside High School. “Wet, Wild, and Dirty.” Students will increase their understanding of natural resources by conducting hands-on learning labs that apply to real world situations.
• Cecily Gunter, Newton College & Career Academy. “Livestock Learning Lab.” Students will use new equipment in the Livestock Learning Lab to create Agriscience and STEM based projects that connect to real world, industry scenarios.
• Datha Curtis, Newton College & Career Academy. “Bots for Tots.” Pre-K students will use problem-solving activities in a Makerspace to increase their understanding of STEM concepts.
• Greta Crawford, Oak Hill Elementary School. “Reading Recovery.” 3rd grade students will be actively involved in literacy through a variety of reading comprehension resources for fiction and non-fiction works.
• Hannah Cole, South Salem Elementary School. “Keeping the Beat with Xylophones.” This project will integrate a xylophone into music instruction to increase student engagement and achievement in Georgia Music Standards of Excellence.
• Heidi Grady, South Salem Elementary School. “Outdoor Science Classroom.” Funds will be used to purchase materials to teach scientific inquiry and study living organisms inside and outside of the classroom.
• Jennifer Cole, Fairview Elementary School. “Books as Mirrors and Windows.” Students will participate in the Windows and Mirrors program by reading, learning, and discussing characters from stories that will help them relate to others.
• Katee Knight, Live Oak Elementary School. “Digi-Blocks: See the Math.” 2nd grade students will have access to advanced math manipulatives to increase their understanding of numbers and place value.
• Krista Firkus, Cousins Middle School. “Disney’s Moana Jr.” Funds will be used to purchase materials for Disney’s Moana Jr., so students can create a virtual performance and connect it to academic topics.
• Laurie Ann Lawrence, Livingston Elementary School. “Little Bots for Little Ones!” Through the purchase of Ozobot Evos, elementary students will have access to coding and robotics in a way that increases critical thinking and STEM skills.
• Lori McGovern, ELA Teachers, Indian Creek Middle School. “FREADOM.” Students will participate in the FREADOM school-wide reading initiative that supports literacy development and increases student engagement using diverse picture books.
• Marcus Pollard, Newton College & Career Academy. “Q?rius for Wildlife.” Students will increase their understanding of the ecosystem by creating educational programs in a museum type setting and sharing what they have learned with younger students.
• Megan Guest, Flint Hill Elementary School. “The Dance Floor Project.” Kindergarten-5th grade students will experience a genuine dance studio setting to explore dance and expand their view of the arts.
• Meghen Bassel, South Salem Elementary School. “Makerspaces for Career Readiness.” Funds will be used to purchase supplies for collaborative workspaces, so students can create and learn through hands-on, personalized experiences.
• Melanie Patterson, Jennifer Cole, Fairview Elementary School. “Growing a Salad without Dirt.” Students will set up and maintain a hydroponics and aquaponics garden to increase their understanding of life cycles.
• Nancy Bryans, Rocky Plains Elementary School. “Letters Alive.” Funds will purchase Letters Alive, a brain-based program with zoo-themed curriculum that teaches reading, spelling, letters, and sounds.
• Sonny Braswell, Newton College & Career Academy. “Do It For The Chicks.” Students in the Construction pathway will learn how to design and develop a chicken coop that will be used by the Animal Science program for student projects.
According to Leigh-Anne Burgess, Snapping Shoals EMC Public Relations and Executive Services Coordinator, the grants are provided through unclaimed capital credits.
“A big advantage of being a part of an electric cooperative like Snapping Shoals EMC is that we operate on a not-for-profit basis. This enables us to return our margins, which are revenues collected in excess of expenses, to the co-op’s members,” Burgess explained.
“Margins, also known as capital credits, are usually retained by the cooperative for a while to be used as a source of funding for the construction of new lines and other utility expenses. The unclaimed capital credit funds are used to support SSEMC’s educational programs, such as Bright Ideas and scholarships, as well as other community projects.”
Snapping Shoals Electric Membership Corp. is a consumer-owned electric cooperative providing electric service to approximately 95,000 homes and businesses in an eight-county area. Most of the utility’s service area is in Newton, Rockdale and Henry counties. Portions of DeKalb, Butts, Walton, Morgan and Jasper counties are also included.
The company’s headquarters is on Brown Bridge Road in Newton County.