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Teachers at six schools win 12 NC Bright Ideas grants

Teachers at six LCPS schools have won a dozen Bright Ideas grants valued at more than $11,000 in statewide competition sponsored by N.C. Electric Cooperatives.

Grant winners from 21 public school districts in the state were recognized at a luncheon in Raleigh on Friday. Lenoir County’s 12 grants – which included six to teachers at Contentnea-Savannah K-8 School – ranked it No. 2 in total awards. Other schools in the winner’s circle were Kinston High School and Northwest, Northeast, Southeast and Southwood elementary schools.

“I’m very excited and proud of our teachers and principals,” said Superintendent Brent Williams, who attended the awards luncheon.

Previously announced were 45 Bright Ideas grants awarded LCPS teachers by Tri-County EMC. Schools eligible for those grants are in Tri-County’s service area.

In Lenoir County, competition for the statewide grants is open to eight schools outside the Tri-County area. The statewide grant awards, available to teachers in grades pre-kindergarten through 12th, are capped at $1,500.

Winning teachers, the grant amounts and their description of the grant projects are:

· Amy White, Contentnea-Savannah K-8, ($1,059): “The students will work on engineering challenges related to creating a roller coaster for an amusement park. Students will learn about force and motion while designing all the loops, hills, and banked curves found in all the best roller coasters. They will then construct the roller coaster using Pitsco’s Roller Coaster Maker.” 

· Adrienne Evans, Contentnea-Savannah K-8, ($1,494): “Funding for this grant will provide students with the opportunity to cook and taste foods from all around the world by participating in multicultural cooking lessons. Cooking is a great way for special needs students to engage in multi-sensory learning experiences as well as practice social skills, self-help skills, communication, task analysis, responsibility, and build confidence across many subject areas.”

· Morgan Delaney, Contentnea-Savannah K-8, ($124): “My grant will purchase two mineral identification kits, streak plates, a hands-on geology manipulative and a rocks and minerals collection. These resources will provide students the opportunity to become geologists in a laboratory environment – not just students in a classroom setting. Students will also conduct a science lab where they will test various rocks and minerals so as to identify their physical and chemical properties.”

· Amanda Price, Contentnea-Savannah K-8, ($595): “Students will be immersed in an engaging curriculum that comprehensively combines literacy with science curriculum. Students will learn the engineering design process through engineering and technological literacy as well as designing a working knee joint.”

· April Modlin, Contentnea-Savannah K-8, ($1,205): “A stage, props, scripts and recording devices will be utilized to transform an everyday fourth-grade classroom into a performing arts theater. Literature will come to life as students perform fables, fairy tales and other genres using Reader’s Theater. Reader’s Theater will be a dynamic strategy for developing fluency, improving confidence and strengthening comprehension.”

· Nicole Hathaway, Contentnea-Savannah K-8, ($445): “This project will focus on teaching students how to budget as they learn and spend money in our classroom economy. Students will earn money, pay expenses, and have opportunity to purchase items for themselves. Students will practice many seventh-grade skills such as percents, tax and discounts. These skills will serve students for life as they learn the value of managing money.”

· Hillary Lee, Southwood Elementary ($1,275): “My grant will fund the purchase of six Wonder Workshop Dash Robots along with various items to complete different STEM and coding activities. With these robots, students will learn problem solving skills, teamwork and 21st century skills.”

· Joretta Durant, Northwest Elementary, ($440): “We will upgrade the patio outside of our classroom by planting kid friendly flowers and placing umbrellas over the two tables. We will use this area as incentives for children to do well. If they do well in behavior during the week, they may sit outside in the patio and read or do math problems.”

· Crystal Taylor and Anna Smith, Southeast Elementary, ($606): “With a direct link to the science standards for plant and animal life, students will engage in various STEM activities to use recycled plastic bottles to build a hydroponic window garden. Students will explore hydroponics and learn how and why plants are able to grow without soil. Students will grow various fruits and vegetables in their garden with a culminating activity of sampling the ‘fruits of our labor’ in the spring.”

· Konya Houston, Northeast Elementary, ($1,385): “My goal is to turn students’ virtual coding experiences into real world, tangible learning adventures. Interacting with the Dash and Dot robots purchased with the grant funds will further increase their use of logical and critical thinking skills, while opening their world of possibilities. Students will embark on opportunities of self-discovery while challenging themselves and their peers to see what they can make the robots do through their perseverance and programming.”

Fourteen women holding certificates pose in front of a Bright Ideas grants banner.