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Grants fund teachers' 'Bright Ideas'
Snapping Shoals awards money
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Snapping Shoals EMC awarded approximately $15,000 in grants to a number of Newton County School 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 want to extend educational opportunities and activities for students.

Dr. Kathy Garber, Newton County School System grant coordinator, said there were a lot of great ideas, and they will all benefit NCSS students.

The 2013 grant recipients and their projects are:

• Terry Badertscher, Cousins Middle School, "Planting for Life." Students will build a greenhouse, seed benches and garden beds to study life science and nutrition, with food grown to be donated to needy families.

• Katoya Bledsoe, Newton High School, "Lunchbox Lectures." Money will be used to purchase two iPads, journals, and notebooks for students to participate in sessions with professionals representing a variety of career clusters.

• LaTrelle Cawthon, Newton County School System Adapted PE, "Wheelchair Movement Exploration Course." Funds will be used for materials to build a wheelchair obstacle course for sensory and movement experiences.

• Morgan Corbett, Eastside High School, "Drawing Digitally in the Art Classroom." Funds will be used to purchase an iPad, Wacom Intuos Tablet, wide-format color printer and printing supplies to allow students to draw and paint digitally.

• Kena Hudgins, Newton County Theme School at Ficquett, "Math in My World." Grant funds will purchase two iPads to be used in the study of geometry and its application to real-life situations through scavenger hunts for 3D shapes.

• Kristin Koterba, Liberty Middle School, "Better Tone with Project iCone."

Funds will be used to purchase an iPad, apps, and other materials for music students to increase breath support and learn about the physics of sound.

• Alexis Laughhunn, Eastside High School, "Crazy Code Scavenger Hunt." Funds will be used for the purchase of three iPad Minis for Coordinate Algebra student s to create semester review scavenger hunts using QR codes and videos.

• Shannon Lawrence, Eastside High School, "Water Quality Science." Funds will be used for equipment and supplies for conducting water quality tests.

• Vicki Meeler, Indian Creek Middle School, "Playground of the Sciences." Funds will be used for equipment and supplies for a variety of lab experiences, including a weather station and stream table.

• Monique Mitchell and Beth Bryan, Eastside High School, "Keeping Current." Funds will be used to purchase five iPod Touch devices to analyze current events and share with other schools throughout the world through

• Cathy Moll, Newton County Theme School at Ficquett, "Microscope Mania." Funds will be used to purchase two LED microscopes and glass slides for the study of cells.

• Chantae Pittman, Alcovy High School, "Guitar for Teens." Funds will be used to purchase eight acoustic guitars and materials for incorporating guitar lessons into Music Appreciation classes.

• Julia Riggs, Eastside High School, "Create Your Own Circuit Board Project." Funds will be used to purchase materials and equipment for students to design and create circuit boards in their study of electricity.

• Lisa Roby, Newton County School System Visually Impaired Program, "Bringing Books to Life." Funds will be sued to purchase books and materials for the blind and visually impaired with adaptations including increased font size, Braille, and 3D objects.

• Terry Silvey, Alcovy High School, "Game-Based Classroom for Learning Spanish." Funds will be used to purchase an Xbox with Kinect System 360 and games created for the Hispanic market to provide authentic language study.

• Shelley Yeatman, Newton College and Career Academy Early Learning Center, "Wild Bird Observation and Investigation." Funds will be used to purchase supplies to set up and observe bird nesting and feeding habitats.

Danny Stone, Snapping Shoals manager of economic development, said that Snapping Shoals is a non-profit organization, and capital credits, or margins, are the revenues that are over and above the cost of providing service for the electric co-op’s customer-owners.

He said these are required by lending institutions to establish financial strength for loans.

"Snapping Shoals EMC routinely refunds these capital credits to its members when its board of directors determines it is appropriate to do so. Despite all of our efforts to locate past members, there are always those whom we cannot locate to return their patronage capital. Legislation passed in 2005 allows EMCs to retain these unclaimed capital credits that historically would be turned over to the state," Stone said.

"The unclaimed funds are used to support Snapping Shoals EMC’s various educational programs, as well as other community and economic development projects."

"As teachers, you are all changing lives every day in what you do," Stone said. "You are impacting children and families in Newton County, and you will be remembered years from now for what you do."