Coweta teachers receive grants for “Bright Ideas”

Ten Coweta school teachers were surprised with gift bags, balloons and Bright Ideas checks ranging from $915 to $1,500 when a group of “Operation Round Up” representatives showed up recently to announce the 2011 winners in classrooms across the county.

Every year, Coweta-Fayette EMC’s Operation Round Up initiative gives educators the opportunity to apply for grants dedicated to special teaching projects not often available in tightly budgeted school systems. Through this program, the Coweta-Fayette Trust, Inc., Board of Directors awarded over $29,000 in Bright Ideas grants to 22 deserving teachers throughout the EMC service area, said Coweta-Fayette EMC representative Amy Lott.

“Earlier in 2011, the Trust asked teachers in grades K-12 to submit proposals for innovative classroom projects, and 79 grant applications were received,” Lott said. “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 level of creativity in the learning experience and student involvement.

Winners in Coweta County included: Jenna Shaner, Arnall Middle, $915 for “Touch Our Lives!”; Katie Lowrie, East Coweta High, $1,327 for “Flying Your Way to Understanding Forces”; Martha Milam, East Coweta High, $1,480 for “Using Real World Technology for a 21st Century Career”; Tom Barnett, Central Educational Center, $1,500 for “Outside Learning Center”; Stephanie Steerman, White Oak Elementary, $1,500 for “Mimio for Education”; Tina Marsh and April Young, White Oak Elementary, $1,500 for “Birthday Book Club”; Robert Lutz, Madras Middle, $1,500 for “Let’s Do the Wave”; Kristen Brady, Lee Middle, $1,500 for “Video Game Math”; Tammy D. Hyder, East Coweta Middle, $1,500 for “Georgia Science through Our Eyes”; and Beth Posta, White Oak Elementary, $1,500 for “I tech – I talk.”

Lott said 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. This is the seventh year the Bright Ideas grant has been available, and it will be offered to educators once again for the 2011-2012 school year. Interested teachers are encouraged to begin working now on plans for their applications.

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