RECC sponsored the Touchstone Energy Classroom Empowerment Grants again this year. With the assistance of the CoBank Sharring Success Program, we were able to obtain matching funds and turn two $1,000 grants into two 2,000 grants. The higher grant amounts turned out to be quite popular, which led to greater participation among area schools. We received several more applications this year.
The classroom grants were designed for local area teachers to carry out education enhancement projects that were not included in their school budgets. Grant appplicants were limited to grades K-8 with emphasis on science and technology. Consideration was also given for how how each project related to Touchstone Energy’s four core values of integrity, accountability, innovation and commitment to community.
CoBank’s Sharing Success Matching Grant Program was designed to celebrate the vital role that RECC plays in their community. Partnering with RECC to support the causes and organizations we care about most is a great way for CoBank to make a positive impact and fulfill its mission of service to rural America. The only stipulation was that the minimum grant amount was $1,000, so we just altered our format from 4-$500 grants to 2- $1,000 grants. This small change allowed us to receive an additional $2,000 in matching grants that will now be shared in our community.
RECC awards $2,000 grant to Waverly Elementary School
Teacher and Librarian, Michelle Wagner submitted the first winning grant application. She chose to focus on creating makerspaces, and STEM learning activities. Makerspaces is a hands-on activity approach and STEM is an education curriculum that focuses heavily on the subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. STEM catagories are integrated so that elements of each subject are applied to the others.
Michelle summarizes, that Makerspaces and STEM center activieies provide students opportunities to be innovators that will be leaders in the science carreers. Innovators will lead us in other areas of society, for they are the people who will think up new ideas and implement them.
The grant money provides the initial boost to create makerspaces, reading, writing, and STEM learning centers in our school that will continue in the years to come. Students are essentially responsible for their own learning as they take ownership of research and where it leads them in the learning process.
RECC awards $2,000 to Ball Elementary School
Debora Lee submitted the second winning grant application. Her grant request also represents fellow Kindergarten Teachers; Roxanne Gardner, Danielle Snedigar, Tracey Lex, and Joanne Carter. Their grant will provide hands-on science related activities for 115 students. The grant will provide each of the five teachers with their very own set of learning kits.
The majority of grant money will be spent on these explorative learning aids. Purchased kits include; Scientific Classification Center, Master Marble Set, Specimens Sorting Center, and a Seasons & Weather Theme Box. The new activities will be used throughout the school year and will benefit future Kindergarten classes since they are not consumable.
Congratulations to Ball-Chatham and Waverly School Districts. A special ‘Thanks’ goes out to our bank, CoBank, for matching RECC’s $1000 grant.