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CEC awards $20K to teachers, schools

Covington Electric Cooperative (CEC) held a reception on Jan. 23 to present $20,739.26 in grant awards to more than 50 educators in its service area who want to implement new programs and creative projects in their classrooms. The co-op originally offered up to $15,000 in grants, but due to an overwhelming response to the program, the CEC board agreed to use contingency funds for community involvement to increase the grants. CEC was able to provide full or partial funding to all eligible applicants.

CEC offers the Bright Ideas grant program to help support teachers with learning initiatives that are not covered by traditional funding. The program is available to K4-12 teachers in public and home schools served electrically by CEC. The program gives teachers a chance to explore endless possibilities for learning.

Individual teachers could apply for grants from $250 up to $750, while teams of teachers were eligible to apply for a maximum of $1,500.

“This is the second year that CEC has offered the Bright Ideas program and we are excited that the number of applicants more than doubled from the last school year,” said Ed Short, CEC general manager. “This year we are awarding grants to teachers and/or teams of teachers at Kinston School, Pleasant Home School, Straughn High School, Straughn Elementary School, Red Level High School, Red Level Elementary School, Samson Middle School, Samson Elementary School, Covington County Schools, Brantley School, Fleeta School and one home school. This year’s grant awards will benefit more than 4,000 students who are the children and grandchildren of CEC members.”

Grant recipients in Covington County included:

  • Red Level Elementary School – Teresa Richardson, Melissa Alday, and Stephanie Taunton received $1,000 to purchase a STEM activity where students will build two boats, one with baking soda power and one with a simple electric current. The students will compare and contrast the two boats as they learn about chemical reactions, force and electricity.
  • Straughn High School – Tina Shiver, Tamberli Dixon, Marsha Fowler, and Taylor Weeks received $800 for The Culture to the Country program designed to give students opportunities to experience art in many forms by purchasing art equipment and supplies for students use and to host an exhibition of student generated works of art;

Greg Windham, Erica Ziglar, and Sherri Williams received $1,500 for Wisdom of the Hands – Arts Education with Special Needs Students – Develop an Arts Education program for special education students with hands-on projects that will include calligraphy, sand art, origami, water colors, wood carving, wood burning and pyrography.

  • Straughn Elementary School – Dawn Ward and Shawna Hall received $215 for the Marble Run Exploration Project that will teach children basic physics, logic, critical thinking, fine motor, and problem-solving skills. It will also foster creative play and engineering talents; Angie Mack received $350 to purchase a storybook STEM bundle along with children’s books to implement the program that includes 42 projects in the bundle. Each project incorporates literacy skills, vocabular, mathematics, engineering, and science.
  • Pleasant Home School – Trinity Riley received $250 to purchase lap boards, markers, number writing videos and letter writing videos to practice writing numbers and letters as a large group and in smaller groups; Jessica Ward received $400 to purchase supplies to help Honors Math Class students design and construct board games that meet specific math requirements tailored to their grade level; Jennifer Lucky and Leigh Lee received $350 to purchase child appropriate furniture and center items to develop age appropriate writing and language skills and interactive learning materials for a Pre-K classroom; Sherry Kelley and Kim Turman received $750 to redesign the learning space for first grade classrooms with flexible seating that includes areas with round or rectangular tables of different heights, comfortable chairs, small couches, stools, beanbags, etc.; Linda Patton received $500 for a Food Group Cooking Camp that offers an exploration of food from the five food groups that will cover nutrition fundamentals for each food group and provide the groundwork students need to be safe and creative in the kitchen; Heather Griffin and Maria Davis received $525.26 for Leap Frog Epic to remediate, improve, and enrich the education of our classes. The LeapPads have activities in reading, math, science and social studies and they offer art, drawing, creative expression, story elements and many more common core standards.
  • Red Level High School – Keron Kyzar, Dawn Kelley, and Kristan Etheridge received $850 for Breakout of the Traditional Classroom is a real-life adventure game that challenges groups to escape a room in less than sixty minutes by using their minds to solve puzzles, clues and ciphers and creates an opportunity for active learning. The locked break out box challenges players to use critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity.
  • Home School – Summer Melvin received $750 for a Honeybee Project where students will research and build a honeybee hive to observe in a natural setting, and document social aspects of the bees, production of honey and the beneficial effects of pollination.
  • Fleeta School – Valerie Brownlee received $750 for the Future City Competition in Huntsville – How can we make the world a better place? Sixth-Eight graders will imagine, research, design and build cities of the future that showcase their solution to a citywide sustainability issue.
  • Covington County Schools – Joy Sowards and Shannon Driver received $1,500 for Musically Motivated – Enhance the music program for all schools in Covington County by adding enough instruments so that all students can benefit from a quality music program.

CEC is an electric distribution cooperative that serves approximately 23,000 meters in parts of six counties which include: Covington, Coffee, Geneva, Dale, Crenshaw and Escambia.