With a board and a few letters, educator Rhonda Davis is hoping a group of Clinton High School students learn a lot about the business world.
Under the guidance of Davis, an educator at the school, Clinton High School students will operate the Tell All Message Board.
“What we’re trying to do is get students to use their English and math skills and responsibility skills,” Davis said. “It’s not going to compete with the big sign that we have, but we’re going to put personal messages on it.”
The project was made possible by the South River EMC Bright Ideas Grant, sponsored by Four County EMC locally, and North Carolina’s 26 electric cooperatives statewide, to help further traditional academic learning through innovative scholastic projects that go beyond available school funding.
The students will be responsible for designing and posting messages. Throughout the year, the students will take orders from businesses, parents and students. During the process, Davis said the students will learn about business decisions and work skills. Davis said some of the messages could be as simple as a birthday message or recognizing a student for winning an award.
“No one is responsible for the sign, except the students,” Davis said. “Teachers are not going to be doing it, the custodial staff is not going to be working on it. I’m not going to ask the administration to even worry about it. The students will be responsible for that sign.”
Participants will also be evaluated on the detail of their efforts an the uniqueness of the message on the sign, placed near the driveway and sidewalk, which leads to the entrance of the school.
Currently, Davis said financial orders will not be taken for the sign. But that process may occur in the future.
“It will eventually go to that, but right now, I want people to know that the sign is out there,” Davis said. “I want the students to get used to taking orders and directly put those messages out there.”
Down the road, funding will go towards the school’s Occupational Course of Study, a program with transition-focused curriculum that includes extensive career preparation. Davis said it’s a different route towards a high school diploma, which requires about 900 work hours in addition to academic work.
“They do their academic work and plus they have to earn work hours,” Davis said about school, community and work hours, plus competitive pay. “This will be computed and noted as school work hours.”
Freshmen and sophomores will be taking messages to the sign as a part of the program to help the students transition from high school to the work world. Many teachers such as Davis are encouraged to seek grants.
Bright Ideas Grant applications are accepted annually from April through September. Davis received the good news in the summer about receiving more than $500 for the project. The local Simple Gifts Fund is also a major source of funding for local teachers. Online, teacher take advantage of opportunities through Donors Choose, which was established in 2009 for the public to assist with classroom needs.
“I think the administration and other people in the school that are leaders encourage teachers to write grants,” Davis said.
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