Thanks to the efforts of local teachers, Clinton City Schools received money through grant funds to help students in classrooms and beyond the district.
During a recent Board of Education meeting for Clinton City Schools, several teachers were recognized for taking the initiative to apply for grants. It was announced that educators received a combined total of $56,102 from July through mid-November. That amount was an increase of $47,400 during the same time frame in 2014.
“I think it’s a great accomplishment for Clinton City Schools students and our teachers,” said Faith Jackson, community liaison and grant writer for the city system. “It’s a number that shows that our teachers are going above and beyond to ensure that our students have access to the resources that they need to be successful in the classroom.”
School leaders applauded their efforts along with other board members. She said the funds can aid with the purchasing of classroom materials, providing students with unique experiences and professional experiences for the educators.
“The teachers have worked extremely hard,” she said. “When I suggest to a teacher to apply for a grant, they have done an excellent job of thinking about what they want to be able to offer to their students.”
After seeing a big jump in grant numbers, Jackson hopes the amount increases soon.
“We want all of our schools to apply for grants and to be seeking the opportunities to provide experiences,” she said. “With our state and local budget, there’s so many expenses that are involved with schools. Sometimes the necessities override the unique experiences for students and staff.”
Some of them include groups of students from Clinton High School taking a trip to Wilmington to see the USS North Carolina battleship and field trips for the Champions program and for teachers to travel to New York to learn about a program which can help students with writing and reading for the Common Core standards.
“It’s only about an hour away from here, but there’s kids who have not gone to see it,” Jackson said about the historic battle ship. “That’s why it’s important.”
She added that the impact of grant is not just about receiving stuff for the classroom. It’s also about experience.
“With education, teachers have to be innovative,” Jackson said. “That’s where grants can be helpful.”
A few of the major contributors include the Clinton Area Foundation for Education, Love of Learning Grant program through the Simple Gifts Fund and Bright Ideas, sponsored by Four County EMC locally, and North Carolina’s 26 electric cooperatives. The purpose is to help further traditional academic learning through school projects, which go beyond school funding.
“School is not just worksheets, where we need just paper and ink,” she said. “It’s getting kids access to resources so they can be proficient …”
DonorsChoose, a nonprofit organization, was another popular outlet selected by teachers. It allows individuals to donate to public school projects through the online website, www.donorschoose.org.
Superintendent Stuart Blount thanked the teachers and Jackson for their efforts towards receiving grants for the district.
“Thanks to Mrs. Jackson and the teachers for what you do day-in and day-out in our classrooms to help educate our children,” Blount said during the meeting.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.