11/21/08 — Chamber awards $9,000 in grants

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Chamber awards $9,000 in grants

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on November 21, 2008 1:53 PM


From left, Freda Davis and Terry Barnes, teachers at Fremont STARS Elementary School, and Sheila Wolfe, principal, accept a mini grant award from Robert Freeman, military liaison with Wayne County Public Schools. The Wayne County Chamber of Commerce awarded 22 grants to 12 schools.

More than $9,000 worth of mini grants was distributed among 22 teachers from 12 Wayne County schools Thursday night.

It was the sixth year for the program, part of the Business and Education Partnership, sponsored by the Wayne Charitable Partnership and Wayne County Chamber of Commerce. To date, $83,000 has been produced by such activities as the annual spelling bee as well as donations received from businesses and individuals.

Its primary purpose has always been simple -- providing Wayne County teachers with additional money needed in the classroom.

Donna Countryman, a teacher at Edgewood Community Developmental School, had all three of her grant proposals funded this year. Two centered around going green -- recycling and composting -- with the other being for a literacy opportunity for elementary students to make their own books.

The mini-grant opportunities are invaluable to teachers, Mrs. Countryman said.

"There's no way we would have the funding to be able to do the things we want without the mini grants," she said. "I have (applied) all six years. It's enabled us to do a lot of different things."

Co-worker Barbara Wagner received a mini grant last year. This year, it was all about her friend.

"She came last year to support me. I came here this year to support her," she said.

A 20-year veteran teacher, Ms. Wagner has not just been on the receiving end of the funding support. She and others from the school also participated in the spelling bee.

Wayne Country Day School teachers Sue Shelton and Fran Shaw mused about what they would be doing with their mini grants.

As lower school art teacher, Ms. Shelton's project was entitled "Sanctuary," centered around creating a garden area outside the art room with a bird bath as the focal point.

"This is an opportunity for kindergarten through sixth grade to work collaboratively on a large scale project that you put out by the entire school and beautify the entire school," she said.

Mrs. Shaw, a college counselor at the school who used last year's mini grant to launch a robotics program for grades 4-6, plans to expand the program to include third-graders. Having the chamber's resource is helpful, she said.

"It's the extra stuff, given the economy and all, that doesn't get funded and goes by the wayside," she said. "(Mini grants) provide outside learning opportunities for the kids."

Jo Ann Smith, art teacher at Rosewood High School, has taught for 33 years so well knows the impact lack of money can have.

"The money's not there," she said. "A lot of our instructional funds have been cut. (So) we appreciate grants, we really do."

The mini grant will help her develop a watercolor and color pencil art project, Bodacious Botanicals.

Another winning project, A Stage for Every Age, was submitted by Eastern Wayne High School teacher Michael Daughtry. Plans are to produce a traveling tour or the children's play, "The Loathsome Lady," to elementary schools.

Other award winning teachers and their projects include:

*Joetta Stoner of Brogden Primary School, Listen to Learn

*Ann Atwood of Carver Elementary, Jump Into Books!

*Patricia Alexander of Eastern Wayne Elementary, Seeing Ourselves as Writers

*Monica Tobe, Edgewood, Touch and Learn Math for Preschoolers

*Terry Barnes and Freda Davis, Fremont STARS, Jump N'Jive

*Lynda Stewart, Fremont STARS, Sign on!

*Allison Wolfe, Fremont STARS, I Can Feel it in My Bones

*Sheila Wolfe, Fremont STARS, Shaping Their Futures

*Nel Whaley, Fremont STARS, Active Learning Through the Senses

*Aimee Kahler, North Drive Elementary, Second Grade Center Stage

*Diane Del Pappa, Norwayne Middle School, Learning and Loving Math through Literature

*Vanessa May, Rosewood High, New York Confidence

*Janet Acorn, Spring Creek Elementary, Groovin', Movin' and Learning!

*Tasha Pallamolla, Spring Creek High, Serge into Garment Construction