Five LCPS teachers at three elementary schools have won grants that will fund additional learning activities in classrooms.
The grant awards were recently announced for Jennifer Grubbs, world view and gardening specialist at Pink Hill Elementary; pre-K teacher Gail Goff of Northeast Elementary; and, from Northwest Elementary, first-grade teacher Christy Groves, third-grade teacher Heather Clark and fifth-grader teacher Rachel Hill.
Grubbs’ grant for $468 from the N.C. Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom program will allow Pink Hill Elementary to increase by three the number of raised-bed gardens that teachers and students tend at the school. “It is our goal to expand this initiative so that every classroom has their own growing space by adding these beds to our current gardening area,” principal Lee Anne Hardy explained.
Grant funds and donations to Pink Hill from various sources have already provided the school with a greenhouse, aquaponics system and raised beds – all of which Grubbs supervises – and a chicken coop.
First-ever mini-grants from Lenoir County Master Gardeners will fund projects by Goff and Hill.
With her $370, Goff wants to create a butterfly reading garden for the pre-K playground at Northeast.
“The garden will include a Japanese red maple, a butterfly bush and an outdoor bench,” Goff said. “We will purchase a caddy to hold books of different genres related to outdoor life, magnifying glasses to examine butterflies and other attracted insect species and safety scissors to prune as needed. Students will participate in the planting, watering and care of the tree and plant.”
Hill won a grant for $389 that will allow her fifth-grade class at Northwest to set up a worm composting system. Watching the worms work, students will learn about worms’ role in nature as transformers of garbage; realize the importance of recycling garbage, reusing refuse and reducing waste; and be able to compare seedlings’ growth in composted soil and non-composted soil.
The class plans to use the composted soil to grow sunflowers. “As a culminating activity,” Hill said, “the students will harvest the sunflowers to deliver to residents in the Veterans Home in Kinston.”
Clark and Groves, also from Northwest, won grants through donorschose.org, a website popular with teachers hoping to fund specific projects through private donations. Clark’s was for $309 and Groves’, for $198.
With Clark’s grant, her class will receive WrapUps, a hand-held tool used in practicing multiplication facts. “Memorization of multiplication facts is a critical component of our third grade curriculum and without this key skill, students often have a difficult time solving multi-step word problems and understanding division concepts,” Clark explained in her grant request.
Groves’ class will receive a Scholastic News subscription thanks to her grant. “News articles have been a major success for first graders in the past,” she wrote on the donorschoose.org website. “The articles and information provided in Scholastic News allow students to draw conclusions, make connections and learn about the world around them.”
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