10 Coweta teachers receive “Bright Ideas” grants

It was a different kind of show-and-tell recently in the classrooms of 10 Coweta County school teachers when representatives from Coweta-Fayette EMC Operation Round Up surprised the teachers with gift baskets, balloons and “Bright Ideas” grant awards ranging from $1,136 to $1,500. Teachers with the Coweta County School System received 10 of the 24 grants awarded in Coweta-Fayette EMC’s eight county service area.

The Operation Round Up representatives presenting the awards included Bright Ideas grant judges, Coweta-Fayette EMC employees and a program board member.

The Bright Ideas program is sponsored by the Coweta-Fayette EMC Operation Round Up Trust from funds raised by EMC members who allow their bills to be “rounded up” to the nearest dollar each month, according to EMC spokesperson Amy Lott.

Earlier this year, the trust asked teachers in grades K-12 to submit proposals for innovative classroom projects, and 93 grant applications were received, said Lott. Without knowing the names of the schools or educators involved, a group of retired teachers from Coweta, Fayette and Heard counties rated the requests according to need, level of creativity in the learning experience and student involvement.

Through Operation Round-Up, the Coweta-Fayette Trust, Inc., Board of Directors awarded $30,000 in Bright Idea grants to 24 deserving teachers throughout the EMC’s service area, said Lott.

The Coweta County grant winners included: Melissa Barronton at East Coweta High, $1,500 for “Flexible Focus Groups for Math Skill Building using Interactive Technology;” Scott Brown, Central Educational Center, $1,295 for “Information Location;” Jill Edwards, Thomas Crossroads Elementary, $1,500 for “Human Calculators;” Sondra Edwards, Moreland Elementary, $1,500 for “Grab a Hoe, Plant a Row;” Kim McCormick, Madras Middle, $1,136 for “iRead, iListen, iLearn;” Bruce Patterson, Arnall Middle, $1,490 for “Strummin’ and a-Hummin’;” Brea Strong, East Coweta Middle, $1,500 for “Stepping into Fitness;” Dr. Penny Thomas, Thomas Crossroads Elementary, $1,500 for “Drums to Reading;” Karley Walker, Arnco-Sargent Elementary, $1,500 for “Get FIT;” and Nancy Williams, Madras Middle, $1,350 for “Cooking Techno.”

Lott said this is the fifth year the Bright Ideas grant has been available and it will be offered to educators once again for the 2010-2011 school year. Interested teachers are encouraged to begin working now on plans for their applications.

Coweta-Fayette Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) service area includes Coweta, Fayette, Heard, South Fulton, Clayton, Spalding, Troup and Meriwether counties.

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