Social studies teacher Naomi Clark wants to prepare students for careers in 21st century. To do that, she needs some 21st century technology.
Clark was one of 10 teachers at Havelock-area schools to receive Bright Ideas grants from Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative on Tuesday.
Clark, who has received multiple Bright Ideas grants over the years while teaching at Havelock Middle School, received $948 to help purchase 12 iPads for students.
"It’s excellent because it allows me to convey my thoughts," she said. "It gets them engaged. It lets them actually plan out 21st century skills, and that’s what it’s about."
Clark was not the only teacher at Havelock Middle surprised when Bill Ward, the cooperative’s director of community relations, came by with a big check.
Sixth-grade math teacher Rosemary Steinman received a third Bright Ideas grant for $984.19.
"We’re going to get iPods for the class and practice doing podcasts so that when they get to high school and college they are already going to have that knowledge of how to see classes from other places, other states and they can watch it on their iPods," Steinman said. "I think these grants are really helpful because they give us the opportunity to buy supplies and more technology for the classroom that the school system doesn’t necessarily have to give us at the time."
Mark Lorek, band director at Havelock Middle School, received his first Bright Ideas grant for $423, which will go toward the purchase of iPads and digital music compositions.
"It’s going to be great, great help and let us expand out into the technology world where the students can actually do some music compositions and be able to hear their own compositions played back to them and they’ll be posted on our band website so it will be a great project for them to take on," Lorek said.
Also surprised with a check Tuesday was seventh-grade math teacher Kristen Hooker, who received $509.97 for the purchase of Algeblocks for her entire classroom.
"It’s hands-on manipulatives to work on groups," she said. "They’ll be able to work together to actually see how to break down an equation to get the right answer and check it. They come with mats so they can actually see how, step-by-step, to solve an equation."
Hooker said she appreciated the grant.
"It’s my first year here at the school so I’m happy to help and I’m excited for our kids," Hooker said.
Tabari Wallace, principal at Havelock Middle School, praised the cooperative’s efforts to help students.
"Number one, in today’s low economic times, we need help from the outside," he said. "These grants have really assisted Craven County Schools to help kids."
In Havelock, 10 teachers from six schools received a total of $7,309. Throughout Craven and Carteret counties, 28 teachers in 20 schools received grants totaling $19,569.
"It’s basically to provide funding for creative and innovative projects that can’t be funded by normal means," said Ward. "They range anywhere from a few dollars up to a thousand dollars. We look for projects that reach the maximum number of students and projects that can be repeated year after year."
Started in 1994, the Bright Ideas Grant program has provided more than $300,000 for the benefit of about 60,500 students. The grants are funded through the cooperative’s foundation board through member donations and through participation in N.C. Electric Membership Corporation.
Other Bright Ideas grant recipients in Havelock area schools include: Karyn Suggs, $789, Early College East; Ashley Alicea, $789 and Julie Chamberlin-Huber, $756, Gurganus Elementary; Shawn McCarthy, $912, Tucker Creek Middle; Kathy Leffler, $330, Arthur W. Edwards Elementary; and Courtney Merkel, $900, Roger Bell Elementary.