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HCS teachers win mini grants from the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW)

Hampton City Schools is excited to announced that nine teachers were awarded mini grants from the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW).

Below is a list of teachers receiving the grants and how the funds will be used.

Mary Hammell of Barron Fundamental Elementary School was awarded $200.  The title of her grant is Arts Integration with Reading and Math.  Her objective is to help students think creatively to solve problems, and to help students apply their knowledge of reading and math to produce a piece of art that they will be proud to showcase to their class or school. Hammell said that doing art will require the students to read and follow directions, plan a project, revise their project for unexpected results, and to be creative and persistent about solving problems. She added, “The ability to be creative thinkers will help to develop a collaborative climate in my class and foster a sense of accomplishment.”

Raja Abi-Saab of Burbank Elementary School was awarded $280.  In an effort to improve students’ reading levels and fluency in first grade, she is using the funds to purchase decodable readers.  Saab hopes to make the books available for struggling readers to take home for added support.

child holding a book in front of book shelfMaureen Houser of Cary Elementary School was awarded $250.  She is using her funds to purchase books for her school bookstore.  Little Shop Around the Corner is a bookstore in the school where students come to shop and “buy” books.  All books are free because Houser said she believes books are a right, not a privilege.  Her students come to the store every other Friday and browse the selection.  She serves cookies and hot chocolate to give them the Barnes and Noble experience.  “Reading is a social experience and the store allows them to engage in conversations around books,” said Houser. “The children love the time they spend in the bookstore and bring their books home to cultivate their own personal libraries.”

Elizabeth Ross of Cary Elementary School was awarded $250.  She is using the funds to create a Chat-n-Chew with her students.  During their lunchtime, students will have the opportunity to enjoy reading in a social setting with their peers.  They will learn new vocabulary and be exposed to new ideas and concepts.  “I want my students to develop a love for reading, become thinkers, and deepen their understanding of texts,” said Ross. “My hope is through the discussion, students will consider others’ perspective on the story, deepen their understanding, and analyze what they read, all while having fun.”

Rose Kimball of Cooper Elementary Magnet School for Technology was awarded $211.  She is using the funds to purchase balsa wood for an engineering project.  During the last quarter of the school year, Kimball’s students will be learning about structural engineering and will be using the software program Tinkercad to create a structure.  The students will choose a structure from their curriculum this year, research the architecture of that structure, and try to recreate it.  The students will have an opportunity to have their idea printed, similar to 3D printing, but on a wood cutter machine.  The students will then assemble their structure and write about the significance of that structure from their curriculum to review for their SOLs.

Alyssa Whitney of Cooper Elementary Magnet School for Technology was awarded $300.  She is using the awarded funds to create a STEM Maker Space area in her classroom.  The space will provide a space for hands-on learning activities to reinforce concepts taught in class.  “The Maker Space area will inspire new learning and creativity, and reinforce collaboration and problem solving skills,” said Whitney.

Michele Ferrel of Spratley Gifted Center was awarded $182.08.  She is using the funds to buy literature circle books for fourth grade students. “Providing quality, diverse literature for students to choose from is very important,” said Ferrel.  “Students are more engaged in their reading when they are able to relate to the literature they are reading.”

Jennifer Martin of Tucker-Capps Fundamental Elementary School was awarded $300.  She is using the funds to purchase high interest/low vocabulary reading material for students reading below grade level.  She stated that one of the main goals of the project is to give struggling readers the opportunity to choose the material they read.  The reading material she hopes to provide will be of high interest to the student, but also on their reading level.  “The goal is to ignite a love of reading with our students that struggle with reading,” said Martin.  “We want them to read for pleasure and to find confidence in their own reading.”

Christina Taylor of Tucker-Capps Fundamental Elementary School was awarded $250.  She is using the funds to purchase nonfiction text for her library to integrate science and social studies into their reading block. Taylor said that purchasing these types of books will give her students more exposure to non-fiction books.  They will have the opportunity to read them on their own and use them for student research projects. 

The National Council of Jewish Women is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action.

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