Hawkins County teachers receive Eastman grants to assist with math, science

Jeff Bobo • Nov 26, 2007 at 12:00 AM

ROGERSVILLE — Four of the nine teachers who received $500 academic grants earlier this month from Eastman Chemical Co. are Hawkins County teachers hoping to put the money toward enhanced science and math programs.

Every year teachers are invited to apply for the $500 grant in Eastman’s “Putting the Children First” program.

There were two recipients from Church Hill Elementary, including second-grade teacher Melissa McGee, whose program is entitled “So Much for Science.”

McKee will use her grant funding to purchase scientific equipment and instructional books to assist student learning with a “hands-on” approach to science. Among the topics to be addressed with the grant funding are characteristics and classification of organisms; growth, survival, adaptation and reproduction; life cycles of organisms; and environments including types of resources, position and motion of objects, changes in earth and sky, weather, scientific inquiry and types of investigations, states of matter, magnets and energy and its uses.

Church Hill Elementary kindergarten teacher Misty Joyner, whose program is titled “Space Exploration,” will help introduce students to math and scientific investigation at an early age. Specifically, funds from the grant will help engage students in activities that will teach them research and inquiry skills, as well as a week and a half of planned activities in which students will use hands-on techniques to learn about astronauts and space flight.

Another Hawkins County recipient was Surgoinsville Middle School seventh-grade teacher T. Faye Dolen, whose program is titled “Playing with Algebra.” Dolen will use the funding to purchase hands-on materials for teaching algebra. The program is intended to take advantage of brain-based learning strategies such as movement and hands-on activities which have been shown to increase retention.

Keplar Elementary third-grade teacher Amber Davidson also received a grant for her program titled “TouchMath,” which is a program created to provide a multisensory approach to learning important mathematical concepts. The program will be used to teach multiplication and division using visual representation and moving away from drills and rote memorization.

Among the other grant recipients were Shoemaker Elementary sixth-grade teacher Dawn Marie Williams, South Central Elementary kindergarten teacher Jill Leonard, Boones Creek Elementary teacher Paula Campbell, Rock Springs Elementary fifth-grade teacher Alyson Dowda and Miller Perry Elementary kindergarten teacher Felicia Kellner.

“I really appreciate the hard work and dedication of each of the teachers in writing the grant,” Hawkins County Director of Schools Charlotte Britton said. “The students in the classroom will reap the rewards from each grant writer. Hawkins County Schools are fortunate to be part of the Putting Children First grant opportunity provided by Eastman Chemical.

“The partnerships in education with our local businesses is certainly important and vital for our future work force.”

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