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Local teachers receive mini grants from retired educators

“Out of all the many projects sponsored by Gadsden County Retired Educators Association members throughout the school year, awarding grants to teachers is so wonderful and one of the most gratifying projects we sponsor,” stated Gadsden County Retired Educators Association President Sam Love.

These grants are teacher-designed and allow teachers to create their own professional development opportunities.

The mini grant program is designed to help teachers purchase the materials they need to reinforce their curriculum and ease the financial burden many teachers carry.

So, who can apply?

Diamond Paige Wade, an educator at Havana Magnet School, was a recipient of a mini grant from the Gadsden County Retired Educators Association.

The program is made available to any educator teaching in a Gadsden County K-12 school.

During the past week, each of the nine teachers who applied received $200 for their application submission.

Most of the submitted grant proposals centered mostly on STEM projects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics activities).

One teacher stated, “When I have my students engaged in STEM activities, it helps develop creativity, emotional intelligence, critical thinking, problem solving, quick adaptability, and resilience. As a result, it also equips my students with futuristic workplace skills,” said Gadsden County teacher Marilyn Samson.

One of the projects that teachers plan to fund using the mini grant program include the creation of a circuit generator with a measuring device to create a circuit using LED light tea lights, foil, and a 2032 battery.

Another project that the mini grant program will fund is the creation of a food pantry at Havana Magnet School – this project will be student-organized and managed.

“The students were overjoyed to be able to support the entire school,” stated teacher Diamond Paige Wade.

Mini grants are based on what is most beneficial to teachers in their own view, which was validated by their administrators on their grant applications.

The Gadsden County Retired Educators Association’s goal is to offer some small amount of money to support teachers to continue to think outside the box, be creative, and engage students with special projects and activities.

The teacher who received grants through this program were Chattahoochee Elementary School teacher Tylisa Chapman Thomas, Havana Magnet School teacher Diamond Paige Wade, Gadsden Elementary Magnet School teacher Ms. Dilworth-Porter, George W. Munroe teacher Gwendolyn Forehand, and five teachers from James A. Shanks Middle School: Joy Brown, Marilyn Samson, A.S. Lucky, LaTara Leland, and June Logan.