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CMS receives education foundation grants

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Five teachers at Clanton Middle School have received PEECh grants from the Chilton Education Foundation this year.

The awards were presented to the teachers on Feb. 19.

“I’m super excited,” Mystie Posey said.

Posey received $800 for a classroom set of scientific calculators for her math class.

“A lot of my students don’t know how to use a calculator, so I want to get us a set of calculators so we can all work together,” Posey said. “Different calculators work differently, so this way we can all be on the same page and learn correctly how to use a calculator.”

Posey said she had heard about the grant opportunity a few years ago but had never applied.

“Having a great need this time, I decided that it was worth a try,” Posey said.

Allyson Wellborn received $1,000 to purchase Lego robotics kits to be used by first-year students at CMS.

She said the kits will allow her to introduce the students to robotics and get a foundational knowledge of robotics that they can build on in eighth grade.

The kits can also be used to integrate classes on computer programming.

“It’s showing them how the coding that they do makes this move,” Wellborn said.

Kelly Rozelle received $850 for physics lab materials to help students while studying forces and motion.

“They will be building catapults and things like that,” Rozelle said. “It’s all hands-on projects.”

Rozelle said this is her first-year teaching science, and she is trying to build up her resources to accompany the textbook. Rozelle taught English previously

“Students need to do science,” Rozelle said. “They need to experience it, not just to read it from the paper.”

Deidre D’Leigh Bishop received $812 to add a mix of fiction and nonfiction books to her classroom library.

“I choose books based on the books I think the kids will read the most,” Bishop said.

Bishop starts each class with 10 to 15 minutes of independent reading.

“They have to … accumulate so many independent reading pages for each nine weeks,” Bishop said.

She said having a classroom library “makes reading fun for them.”

“They get to choose the books, so the more titles I have that they think are fun to read, the more likely they are to read and actually stick with their book and finish it,” Bishop said.

Sonya Jones received $500 to replace outdated reference materials in the school library.

She said she has had to remove several books in compliance with the state requirements because the books were out of date.