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Education Foundation awards grants to 40 UCPS teachers

New Town Elementary teacher Ann Jacob, center, is surprised by Union County Education Foundation members after being one of 40 UCPS teachers to be awarded “Teacher and Classroom Mini-Grants.” Also pictured, from left, are foundation member Sabrina Hodges, parent volunteer Allegra Pruitt, foundation board member Sylvia Newsome and New Town Elementary Principal Catherine Perry.

The Union County Education Foundation has awarded 40 teachers from 26 UCPS schools “Teacher and Classroom Mini-Grants” worth more than $18,000.

The Foundation “Prize Patrol” surprised these teachers in their classrooms today (Nov. 13, 2013) with festive balloons and a “big” check in amounts ranging from $165 to $500.

“It’s really exciting to be able to add more to the curriculum, those little extra things that make the lessons come alive,” said Ann Jacob, a teacher at New Town Elementary, who won two grants totaling $810 for two different projects.

“Opportunities like this allows teachers to further delve into instructional activities within the classroom and produce the non-typical activities that motivate and interest our students the most,” said Jacob’s principal, Catherine Perry.

Projects ranged from making an in-class library, to creating sculptures, integrating technology into music and doing a global art exchange.

Last year, school communities from across Union County came together to make today financially possible through their support of the "Running for U 5K" and through direct support to the Foundation.

"It was exciting to witness the 700+ runners who participated on race day," said the 5K Race Director, Rob Jackson. "That day was great. Today, though was amazing, as we watched the excitement in teachers' eyes when they learned that they had won a classroom grant to supplement their instruction."

The money will go a long way to help South Providence teacher Jessica Sutton in her goal to raise enough money to purchase additional history materials for her classroom, which cost $900.

“I’ve raised $200 on my own, with another matching $200, so hopefully now it’s covered,” Sutton said, her excitement obvious. “It’s a way to bring history alive. This is a way to make a subject matter more interesting for those students who are not that excited about history.”

Sutton’s principal, Barry Ross agreed. “It’s one thing to teach students about the pyramids, it’s another thing to let them build pyramids,” he said. “It brings history and social studies to life.”

Joining the foundation’s executive director Amy Sperry in making the presentations were members of the Foundation’s board of directors and representatives from the UCPS Superintendent’s office and cabinet.

This is the second year the foundation has awarded the grants. Last year the foundation awarded 17 teachers from 15 different UCPS schools more than $7,000.

Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe, UCPS Communications Coordinator
Posted: Nov 14, 2013 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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