Teachers in Newton County were awarded approximately $15,000 in grants from Snapping Shoals EMC through the co-ops 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 activites for students by developing student intersts and abilities.
"There were a lot of great ideas and they will all benefit our students," said Dr. Kathy Garber, Newton County School System Grant Coordinator.
The donated funds are part of unclaimed funds that Snapping Shoals EMC uses to support educational programs and other projects.
"As a non-profit organization Snapping Shoals’ 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,” said Danny Stone, Snapping Shoals Manager of Economic Development. “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. The unclaimed funds are used to support Snapping Shoals EMC’s various educational programs, as well as other community and economic development projects.”
NCSS's 2014 grant recepients and their projects are:
- Lynne Behnke, Oak Hill Elementary, STEM Lab. Fourth and fifth graders will use the lab to become problem solvers, critical thinkers, and innovators by examining real-world phenomenon.
- Kim Bruce, Flint Hill Elementary, Taking the Classroom Outside. Students will build Plexiglas easels to paint and will use a variety of kitchen items to create music.
- Daphne Cofer, Jodie Williams, and Rene Seals, Palmer-Stone, A Voice for All. This project will provide non-verbal students with an alternative augmentative communication device to give them a voice to be heard.
- Jennifer Cole, Live Oak Elementary, Lunch Bunch Book Club. Third through fifth graders will spend lunchtime in the media center once a week to discuss with fellow students a selection of books by a particular author.
- Sharon Darley, Flint Hill Elementary, Outdoor Science Learning Center. Through the outdoor center, students will use ordinary materials in extraordinary ways to experience problem-solving, experimentation, and estimation.
- Beth Galloway, Newton College & Career Academy, Farm 2 Table Organic Garden. Part of a long-term project, this phase will include agriculture, Pre-K, and culinary classes in beginning an organic garden.
- Troy Hoff, Eastside High, Ramping Up Technology in Advanced Physics. The addition of four dynamics tracks will increase opportunities for lab inquiry in the study of force, motion, and energy.
- Mandy Jones, Heard-Mixon Elementary, Integrating Technology in Research. The purchase of a Dell Venue 11 system will enable students to research, interact, collaborate, and publish using a single technological device.
- Lee Jourdan, Cousins Middle, Screencasts and Instructional Videos: Creating Active Student Learners and Producers. Through the use of screencasts and instructional videos, students will be able to view lectures at home prior to class.
- Angela Monell, Eastside High, Seeing Beyond Vocabulary and into Cells. Using microslide viewers and slide sets, students will study images such as cell parts or bacteria taken with very high-powered microscopes.
- Catrina Pollard, Eastside High, Soaring into a New Outdoor Classroom. Agriculture students will upgrade and repair the fencing, shade house, and sheds of an older, outdoor classroom so all classes can use it.
- Marcus Pollard, Newton College & Career Academy, Farm to Table: Creating an Aquaponics System. Students will create an aquaponics system for the production of tilapia and edible plants.
- Shanna Powell, Middle Ridge Elementary, Sprouting New Roots Garden and Outdoor STEM Lab. Students will experience agriculture, nutrition, and nature in an outdoor learning center in partnership with a variety of community organizations.
- Scott Quinlan, Newton College & Career Academy, The Academy Bistro. Students will operate a restaurant featuring produce grown by the Agriculture department and printed menus and promotional material from the graphic arts department.
- Leslie Studdard, Middle Ridge Elementary, Reading through QR Codes. Students will use iPods to scan QR codes to gain access to countless stories online and record book trailers summarizing books they have read.
- Lori Wardingly, Newton County Theme School at Ficquett, iCan Do Math. Students will use iPod Minis to access math resources, collaborate with other math classes via videos, and create electronic resources such as video files.
“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.”