COVINGTON — Snapping Shoals EMC recently awarded $18,000 in grants to Newton County School System teachers through the co-op’s Bright Ideas program. The grants are designed to help teachers who wish to extend educational opportunities and activities for students by developing student interests and abilities.
According to Chris Wood, Snapping Shoals EMC vice president of external affairs, the grants are provided through unclaimed capital credits.
“Snapping Shoals EMC is a non-profit and these funds are accumulated through the dollars we have left over after our operating costs are paid for,” said Wood. “We give these back to our members as capital credits every year. There are a lot of members who move off our system and although we try our best to reach out to everyone, sometimes we don’t have forwarding addresses. When that happens, we have unclaimed dollars that accumulate. We are fortunate enough to be able to hold onto these dollars now because prior to 2005 we were required to turn those funds over to the state and they could use them however they wanted to.”
According to Wood, Snapping Shoals EMC uses the funds to give back to the local community in various ways, such as the Bright Ideas grants for local teachers. Snapping Shoals also supports economic development, education, and other local non-profit agencies.
“We had many wonderful projects submitted this year,” said Newton County School System grants coordinator, Tiffany Merriweather. “It made it very difficult for the judges to narrow down the selections.”
This year’s grant recipients include:
♦ Sonny Braswell, Newton College & Career Academy: “Building for Bunnies.” Students in construction classes will engage in active learning by building and maintaining a rabbitry for the animal science program.
♦ Kelly Byrd and Shelsey Reed, RISE Academy: “Using a Hydroponic Farm to Teach Horticulture.” Students will use both a hydroponics system and a post and soil system to study plant growth and ways to increase productivity.
♦ Daphne Cofer and Rene’ Seals, Palmer-Stone: “Communication Stations: Voices on the Playground.” Through the purchase of communication stations and slap bracelets, nonverbal students will have a voice to be heard in indoor and outdoor settings.
♦ Jennifer Cole and Alva Huff, Fairview Elementary: “Around the World in 180 Days.” Funds will be used to purchase culturally diverse versions of the same story, so students can read and learn what distinguishes one genre from another.
♦ Greta Crawford, Oak Hill Elementary: “Sensory Sight Words.” Through the purchase of SnapWords kits, students will have access to a variety of visual and kinesthetic activities designed to enhance sight word mastery.
♦ Datha Curtis, Newton College & Career Academy: “Zen Den in the Library Learning Commons.” Funds will be used to equip stations in the library learning commons with multi-sensory interventions that promote academic and personal success.
♦ Kimley Daniel, West Newton Elementary: “The Power of Innovative Technology.” Kindergarten students will use an iPad and Osmo kit for hands-on learning in reading and math using an online app and manipulatives.
♦ Angie Dean, Fairview Elementary: “The Lion’s Share of Costumes.” Through the purchase of performance materials for The Lion King Kids, 3rd-5th grade students will demonstrate what they have learned in fine arts education to live audiences.
♦ Jamez Dudley and Paige Hunter, Liberty Middle: “Wonka and the Oompas!” Students enjoy learning when combined with singing, choreography, and dramatic play. Funds will be used to purchase a Willy Wonka Jr. show kit for a show choir program.
♦ Krista Firkus, Cousins Middle: “Brundibar.” Chorus students will culminate their study of the Holocaust with an opera performance and trip to the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum.
♦ Matt Garwood, Flint Hill Elementary: “Modern Music Production: iPads as Composition Tools.” Music students will have access to an iPad to compose original music using Garageband software and online apps.
♦ Ali Geigerman, Newton County Theme School: “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words!” Funds will be used for makerspace supplies in the library learning commons for students to design and create art that reflects the learning of their novel study.
♦ Cecily Gunter, Newton College & Career Academy: “Paws Partners.” Students in the veterinary and animal science program will have access to supplies to develop skills needed for animal care and grooming services.
♦ Felicia Wright Hodges and Sevius Thomas, Liberty Middle: “Grow Knights.” Through the purchase of gardening materials, students will engage in hands-on learning in gardening, food production, nutrition and wellness.
♦ Kimberly Holliday, Rocky Plains Elementary: “Greenhouse Gardening.” Funds will be used to restore greenhouse gardens, so students will have access to outdoor learning opportunities while studying plant growth.
♦ Stephanie Kennemore, Kimberly Braswell, and Marjorie Atkinson, Indian Creek Middle: “Engineering a Safer School.” Eighth grade STEM students will use the engineering design process to design, build, and present a prototype of their school with added security measures.
♦ Amanda Kirkham, Newton County Theme School: “I’m a Published Author and Illustrator!” Fourth-grade students will use the Studentreasures publishing kit to publish a class book and increase their understanding of the writing process.
♦ Nicole McGowan, Newton County Theme School: “Growing Second Grade Readers Through Guided Reading Text.” Second grade students will have access to “Who’s Doing the Work” leveled reading libraries to increase reading comprehension and fluency.
♦ Patrice Peek, Cousins Middle: “Makerspace Monday.” Funds will be used to create a Makerspace in the library learning commons using STEM kits and supplies to increase STEM proficiency.
♦ Catrina Pollard, Eastside High: “Something is a Little Fishy Around Here” Students in Agriculture and Horticulture will use several fish tanks to build aquaponics systems and study plant growth and symbiotic relationships.
♦ Marcus Pollard, Newton College & Career Academy: “Walking Tree Arboretum.” Students in agriculture will create a walking tree arboretum to study different trees around campus and increase their knowledge of natural resource management.
♦ Katie Sauls, Newton County Theme School: “kinderSTEM.” Kindergarten students will be actively involved in STEM and English/Language Arts through a variety of hands-on and online resources.
♦ Linda Scovanner, Oak Hill Elementary: “Growing Food for Thought: Capturing Curiosity with Aquaponics.” Through the purchase of an aquaponics kit and nonfictional and fictional text sets, students will increase their skills in STEM♦ areas.
♦ Kimberly Williams, Lindsey Hays, and Eileen Hietter, Palmer Stone: “Technology for Transition.” Students will use iPads to access digital resources that will help them with transition skills such as written expression.
♦ Marcus Williams and Anna Hebert, Newton High: “Low Risk, Large Return: The Stock Market Game for Seniors.” Through the purchase of this registration, students will improve their understanding of economics using interactive and real-world applications.
Snapping Shoals Electric Membership Corporation is a consumer-owned electric cooperative providing electric service to approximately 95,000 homes and businesses in an eight-county area. Most of the utility’s service area is in Newton, Rockdale and Henry counties. Portions of DeKalb, Butts, Walton, Morgan and Jasper counties are also included. The company’s headquarters is on Brown Bridge Road in Newton County.