Verbena High School receives $2,800 in Education Foundation grants

Published 5:20 pm Wednesday, February 7, 2018

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

The Chilton County Education Foundation surprised teachers on Feb. 7 when it presented three checks to Partners Enhancing Education in Chilton County grant recipients.

The largest amount was awarded to teachers working with the Chess Club and Scholars Bowl program.

“Thank you so much,” teacher Michael Martin said.

The funds will allow the Chess Club to buy more chess boards and help the Scholars Bowl team purchase practice equipment.

“We are starting a brand-new chess team here,” Martin said.

Right now, the club only has six boards that 100 participants have to share.

The school will be hosting a chess tournament on Feb. 19.

Nicole Hoffman and Thomas McCall also contributed to applying for the grant.

The Scholars Bowl team is open to middle school and high school students.

The funds will be used to purchase a buzzer system for students to practice.

“You have four students on a team, and you can have two alternates,” Martin said.

McCall said he helped recruit some students for the team.

“We talked about students that would be good in Scholars Bowl that showed a wide range of knowledge in math and science and social studies and English,” McCall said.

McCall said Verbena had a successful Scholars Bowl team years ago, and they hope to see success again at the competition.

“When the (state) report cards came out, we were listed third in the school system,” McCall said. “For what we may lack, we have some really bright kids, particularly at the middle school and that first grade of high school we have some kids that are super sharp. The future looks really good for Scholars Bowl.”

Equipment was also the focus for a grant for the physical education department.

PE teacher Jeremy White accepted the $500.

Kala Langston, Blake Edwards and White had worked on the application.

White said this would include general things like balls for various sports, nets and baseball bats.

The final grant was presented to Mandi Woods, library media specialist, for $900 to purchase additional books and materials for the school library at the annex and the high school.

“With low state funding ($21.26 per student), it is challenging to meet the interests, wants, and needs of our K-12 library program, ” Woods said in her application. “Also, we provide to two locations, so funds become stretched. L.E.A.R.N. in the library backing would allow us to purchase much-needed books and increase pleasure reading.”

She said she especially needed more books for third grade students.

Education Foundation board member Rhonda Reynolds said a committee meets each year to select recipients from the applications received from teachers throughout the county.

“We try to pick the ones that … will affect the most students,” Reynolds said.

This year the foundation awarded $24,990 in grants to local educators.