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Foundation hands out $25,000
Decatur City Schools distributes annual grant money to 18 teachers

By Bayne Hughes
hughes@decaturdaily.com · 340-2432

The Decatur City Schools Foundation’s annual teacher grants will benefit the gamut of the student population, whether it’s struggling students, high achievers, students in trouble or students learning to speak English.

The foundation awarded 18 grants totaling almost $25,000 Thursday at a reception at First American Bank.

Tommy Daniels of the foundation board said it changed its grant program this year in an effort to get more participation. Instead of limiting the teachers to $500 mini-grants, teachers could apply for whatever they needed to fund their projects.

“If you had something costing $20,000 and knocked our socks off as a great idea, then we were going to help you get it done,” Daniels told the group of teachers and administrators at the reception.

Teachers submitted their grant applications, which Dan-iels said the board judged based on the idea with the teacher names and schools withheld so board members couldn’t show favoritism.

Grant winners are:

  • Sloan Smith, science teacher, Austin High School, $1,320 — Animated Dissection of Anatomy for Medicine anatomy and physiology interactive software. A computer program that allows students to do virtual dissections of the human body.

  • Heather Tucker, health-science teacher, Austin, $1,400 — Tar Wars, a tobacco prevention program in which seniors go to the city’s elementary schools and teach fifth-graders that smoking is not healthy.

  • Jessie Brinkley, social studies teacher, Brookhaven Middle School, $310 — Functional reading curriculum, teaches struggling readers reading skills for daily living.

  • Diana Carr, librarian, Eastwood Elementary School, $5,925 — Mobile presentation system, a cart with 12-digital cameras and a videocassette recorder/di-gital video recorder for students to record and make presentations about their field trips.

  • Joan Addison, reading coach, Eastwood Elementary, $525 — Phonics Intervention, Scholastic chapter readers for use in intervention for grade 3-5 students who are struggling.

  • Tammie Clark, Linda Miller, art teachers, Somerville Road, West Decatur, Leon Sheffield and Benjamin Davis elementary schools, $1,800 — Native American Festival, an art and culture unit on native Americans that culminates with two days in which special guests visit in March.

  • Jan Mendenhall, counselor, Somerville Road Elementary, $1,010 — Too Good For Drugs, an anti-drug program for all Decatur fifth-grade students.

  • Marissa Pedings, fifth-grade teacher, Somerville Road, $250 — Everyday Counts, math games. No further description available.

  • Amy Griffith-Hill, reading specialist, Oak Park Middle School, $300 — Reading Intervention Lab, software for Alabama Reading and Math Test remediation.

  • Karen Suggs, math teacher, Center for Alternative to Expulsion, $1,860 — Math skills review kit.

  • Carol Dobbs, elementary teacher, Center for Alternative to Suspension, $360 — Stop and Think, a social skills book and program with role-playing scenarios and activities to help students learn to make better decisions.

  • Missy Olinger, reading coach, Julian Harris Elementary, $500 — Meeting the Needs of Every Child, materials to challenge second- and third-grade high-achieving readers.

  • Beth Adams, Megan Youngblood, Cathy Wallace, Elizabeth Summerford, science, Walter Jackson Elementary, $5,050 — C.S.I. — Connecting Solar Investigations, a schoolwide unit on identifying the sources of energy and energy conservation.

  • Kay Grubbs, music teacher, Woodmeade Elementary School, $1,200 — Stringing Kids With Dulcimer. She is buying 20 dulcimers to teach students how to play the traditional instrument.

  • Angela Parker, special education teacher, Woodmeade, $368 — Touch Math: A Path Towards Independence, visual aids to help students with their math.

  • Doris Preuitt, International Baccalaureate coordinator, and Beth Weinbaum, principal, Cedar Ridge Middle School, $1,500 — Where in the World
  • Three 7-foot-tall world maps that will be hung in the school’s commons area as part of the International Baccalaureate’s Middle Years Program emphasis on internationalism.

  • Pam Bowling, fourth-grade teacher, Banks-Caddell Elementary School, $450 — English-Language Learners reading comprehension, literature and phonics programs for ELL students.

  • Julie Rhodes, librarian, Frances Nungester Elementary, $460 — Strategic Readers Video Club, digital video cameras and DVD recorders. Students will record their progress as they learn to read.

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