10/16/13 — Dancing Stars nets $50K as teachers benefit

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Dancing Stars nets $50K as teachers benefit

By Staff Reports
Published in News on October 16, 2013 1:46 PM

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Scholarships for teachers, generated from this year's Dancing Stars of Wayne County, were presented by the Wayne Education Network recently. From left are Kate Daniels, executive director of Wayne County Chamber of Commerce; Dr. Laura Bilbro-Berry, ECU's assistant director of teacher education; scholarship recipients Corey Martin, Crystal Capps, Lynda Walker, Tara Hines, Connie Henn, Toni McCance and Wendy Carroll; Dr. Ed Wilson of the Wayne Education Network; and teacher recipients Holly Egan and Kelly Mott.

The 2013 Dancing Stars of Wayne County wasn't quite as successful as last year, but still, the fundraiser for education netted $50,957. Of that, $9,000 was recently awarded in the form of teacher scholarships.

This was the third year for the event. In 2011, the net proceeds were $44,330 with $12,000 given for teachers completing their education, while in 2012, the event netted $58,734 with $10,000 in scholarships.

Other Wayne Education Network, or WEN, projects funded by the proceeds have included the Junior Leadership program, the annual middle grades career fair, teacher recruitment and retention efforts and mini-grants for educators to use for classroom projects.

WEN recently presented scholarships to nine students participating in the State Employees Credit Union Partnership East program, the goal of which is to educate students and increase the number of teachers in North Carolina. The partnership between SECU, East Carolina University and Wayne Community College allows Wayne County students to obtain a degree from ECU in elementary education, special education or middle grades education by attending classes at WCC.

Dr. Laura Bilbro-Berry, ECU's assistant director of teacher education, said the partnership features a "grow-your-own approach."

"What we want to do is try to grow teachers in areas where not a lot of folks flock," she said.

At a recent presentation at the Chamber, nine "interns" who are doing their student teaching this semester in Wayne County Public Schools were given scholarships of $1,000 each.

The students, many of them previously instructional assistants who opted to return to school to obtain teaching credentials, can use the money for supplemental expenses while completing their studies and not on the district payroll.

Scholarship recipients and their assigned schools include Corey Martin, Eastern Wayne Middle; Crystal Capps, School Street Elementary; Tara Hines, Spring Creek Elementary; Kelly Mott, Eastern Wayne Elementary; Lynda Wallace, Carver Elementary; Wendy Carroll, Brogden Primary; Holly Egan, Eastern Wayne Elementary; Connie Henn, Tommy's Road Elementary School; and Toni McCance, Northwest Elementary.

Mini grant applications being accepted

The Wayne Charitable Partnership and the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce are again offering mini grants to teachers, media coordinators and guidance counselors to fund projects for the current school year.

Grants up to $500 will be awarded on a competitive basis, with recipients able to use funds for materials, equipment and other items necessary to carry out the proposed project.

Those in public, private and home-school settings serving grades K-12 and teachers participating in the N.C. Pre-K programs are eligible to apply.

In 2011, $2,882 in teacher grants were awarded, with $15,654 worth of projects funded in 2012.

Earlier this year, $5,004 in mini grants were distributed, said the Chamber's Janet Brock, and officials are preparing for another presentation later this month, when between $10,000 and $15,000 mini-grants will be doled out.

Applications are available at the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce office or on the Wayne Education Network website, www.wayneeducationnetwork.org and selecting "Teacher Grants" from the WEN Initiatives, the Wayne County Public Schools website, www.wayne countyschools.org, or the Wayne Education Network tab on www.waynecounty chamber.com.

The grants are made possible through the contributions of Wayne County area businesses and other school patrons at the annual Dancing Stars of Wayne County fundraiser. Completed applications must be submitted no later than Tuesday, Oct. 29. If awarded, grant recipients may be assigned a liaison from the Wayne Education Network to monitor the progress of the grant.

For information, call Janet Brock at 919-734-2241 or email janetb@ waynecountychamber.com.