The Wilson Education Partnership recently visited eight schools to surprise WEP Minigrants recipients. Grants were awarded on a competitive basis for worthy projects which show exceptional promise of benefiting students. Educators will receive funding in January to implement innovative and creative projects that will help students to learn about college and careers. The total amount awarded in this newly-revised grant program is $7,982.34.
Grants were awarded to the following educators and schools:
Jean Hall at Fike High School will create a designated space for students to research careers and to access resources to help them learn about the interview process, completing job applications and writing cover letters.
Suellen Greer at Hunt High School will prepare students for the AP Language exam and SAT/ACT writing/English component and help students improve their writing techniques so they are able to compose essays and research papers that are appropriate for college level work.
Laura Nelson at Hearne Elementary School will expose students to various careers and colleges through multiple avenues to produce a project which includes a college plan, career plan and financial plan.
Russell Weber, Karen Bessey and Renee Olivieri at Darden Middle School will collaborate to provide all sixth grade students with hands-on experiences in the proper use of age-appropriate science equipment to experience teamwork and develop new problem-solving skills.
Katherine Taylor and Lee Ann Howard at Forest Hills Middle will coordinate an all school read where students, administrators, faculty and staff read a book together. Parents will also be encouraged to read the book.
Carey Heiniger, Lisa May and Karen Prafka at New Hope Elementary will create a STEAM lab in the school to address diversity, enable students to think more critically and give students a global perspective of what jobs are available in the workforce.
Daniel Barnes and the staff at Vinson-Bynum Elementary will create a new STEM laboratory within the school where all grade level students can participate in science learning experiences in a setting that is conducive for science activities.
Joan Malone at Winstead Elementary will use neckties for fifth grade male students and dress scarves for female students as the platform for a variety of activities designed to address soft skills that are valued in both school and the workplace.
From 1989 to 2002, WEP coordinated a similar Minigrant Program that provided more than $170,000 in supplemental funds to classrooms. As school programs, community needs and available financial resources changed, WEP shifted support to other areas. After 26 years of service to the school system and the business community, the Board of Directors decided it was time to evaluate WEP’s purpose and role to see if there were other opportunities to support schools in order to better meet the needs of both students and the business community. This grant program combines both new focus areas to provide financial support for educators and to foster new and expanded opportunities for more students to gain access to college and to prepare for careers.
WEP plans to expand the Minigrant Program to fund more grants next year. Grant funding is contingent upon community and business contributions. Businesses, civic clubs, community organizations, and individuals may provide tax-deductible donations to support the Minigrant Program. Contact WEP at 399-7726 to learn more.