COVINGTON, Ga. — Snapping Shoals EMC recently awarded $15,000 in grants to Newton County School System teachers through the electricity co-op’s Bright Ideas program. The grants are designed to help teachers who wish to extend educational opportunities and activities for students by developing student interests and abilities.
Newton County School System grants coordinator Tiffany Merriweather said, “We had many wonderful projects submitted this year."
“It made it very difficult for the judges to narrow down the selections,” she said.
This year’s grant recipients include:
• Alainna Evans, Newton High School, “Give the Gift of Dance Costumes.” Funds will provide dance costumes, allowing students to engage in authentic performing arts experiences.
• Amanda Kirkham, Elizabeth Rogers, Stephanie Smith- Newton County Theme School, “3-D Printing in Elementary STEAM.” This project will integrate a 3D printer into STEAM instruction to expose students to real world applications.
• Andrew Pollard, Newton College and Career Academy, “Plasma Cutting Project.” Funds will provide materials for students to create a custom metal enterprise.
• Catrina Pollard, Eastside High School, “Where the Wild Things Are.” Funds will provide materials for an outdoor learning lab for the new Eastside Campus.
• Deatrice Willis and Gregory Tanks, Indian Creek Middle School, “Panther Mart Day.” Funds will be used to purchase Panther Mart resources to increase student entrepreneurship.
• Elizabeth DiGiacomo, Middle Ridge Elementary School, “Ceramics Unit: Clay Project.” Through the purchase of art supplies, students will experiment with 3D learning opportunities.
• Elizabeth Varner, Live Oak Elementary School, “Reading Zen for Exceptional Students with Disabilities.” Funds will provide flexible seating options and books to increase student engagement in reading.
• Hugh Waters, Palmer Stone, “Square Up For Our Futures.” Funds will provide resources for Community-Based Instruction, allowing students with disabilities to immerse in authentic hands-on training.
• Jasmen Moore, Newton College and Career Academy, “Brain Architecture Game.” Through the purchase of learning kits, students will study brain development and relate it to Early Childhood Education standards.
• Kemily Pattillo, Newton College and Career Academy, “Up, Up, and Away: Gas Laws & Hot Air Balloons.” Funds will provide science materials to help students conceptualize the properties of gas.
• Laura Lambert, Newton College and Career Academy, “Building Biotechnologists for Tomorrow.” Through the purchase of science kits, students will learn biotechnology techniques and increase their biology to lab connections.
• Lori McGovern, Indian Creek Middle School, “Break Out of the Media Center!” Funds will be used to purchase Breakout EDU, a standards-aligned and game-based learning system.
• Mary Katherine Skidmore, East Newton Elementary School, “Ukuleles in Elementary Music.” Through the purchase of ukuleles, students will have hands on learning experiences with string instruments.
• Paula Hinely, Live Oak Elementary School, “Sensory Room for Autistic Students.” Funds will provide sensory resources for student use in a newly created sensory room.
• Rebecca Becnel, Mainstay Academy, “The Rockets Fly with Art.” Funds will provide art supplies and equipment to support a high school Art pathway.
• Sondra Griffin, Newton College and Career Academy, “Ecology EcoColumn Project.” Funds will be used for an ecology project for students to explore environmental components and ecological balance.
Snapping Shoals Electric Membership Corp. is a Newton County-based, consumer-owned electric cooperative. Its provides electric service to approximately 95,000 homes and businesses mostly in Newton, Rockdale and Henry counties but also including parts of DeKalb, Butts, Walton, Morgan and Jasper counties. The company’s headquarters is on Brown Bridge Road in Newton County.
According to Leigh-Anne Burgess, Snapping Shoals EMC Communications and Marketing 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 allows us to return our margins, which are revenues collected in excess of expenses, to the co-op’s members as capital credits,” Burgess said.
“Capital credits are 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. They are paid to the members when it is financially sound to do so and when approved by our Board of Directors. 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.”