Three teachers in Double Springs and one in Haleyville received Alabama Power Foundation Classroom Grants recently. Danny Snoddy, electrical technology instructor at the Winston Career Academy, received $1000 for the utility lineworker program. Angela McCullar, third grade teacher at Double Springs Elementary, received $1000 for her classroom, as did Casey Wilson, seventh grade special education teacher at Haleyville Middle School. Cindy Nuss, kindergarten teacher at DSES, received $715, which she said was the exact amount she requested.
The Double Springs teachers received their grants on Wednesday, Jan. 26 while Wilson received hers on Thursday, Feb. 10.
“The Classroom Grants are provided to teachers to purchase classroom supplies that will enhance learning opportunities for their students,” explained Melinda Weaver, community relations manager for Alabama Power. “The Classroom Grant can (also) be used for technology to support virtual learning as well as (for) COVID-19 efforts such as cleaning supplies.”
“I plan to use my grant for art supplies and manipulatives for math,” said McCullar. The manipulatives will include linking cubes, counting objects and fraction strips and wheels.
“I’m going to use mine for learning centers,” said Nuss. Her learning centers will focus on sorting and learning the letters of the alphabet, phonics and reading.
“We’re going to use it for instructional purposes as far as residential wiring, utility linemen and commercial wiring,” said Snoddy. “We will have different aspects to teach, (including) substations, transformers, meter basing and weatherheads.”
Wilson plans to use her grant to fund a field trip that will be the culmination of a project that incorporates math, geography, civics and life skills. She has selected six possible destinations for a class field trip.
“They’re going to have to pick out of the six places that I gave them,” Wilson said. “They’re going to have to create a budget, and then they’re going to have to calculate gas mileage, time (etc.).” Their goal will be “to figure out if each place fits within our budget and what all we can do.”
Sites the students will be considering include the Birmingham Zoo, the Blue Bell ice cream factory, a potato chip factory and the Space and Rocket Center. The students will work in groups and then make a presentation to the class about their choice of destination. Then the class will vote to make the final decision.
“We’re honored to be able to support (students) through these Classroom Grants,” said Weaver. “These students are our leaders of tomorrow and any opportunity we have to help with that, we’re honored to do so.”
“We appreciate that Alabama Power supports us,” said WCA Director Adam Gray. “We can’t do a lot of the things we do without the support of people like Alabama Power.
“Alabama Power has always helped me with my program,” Snoddy said. "We’ve worked together very closely, and they have benefitted me a lot over the years.”
“This is a great program,” Weaver said of the lineworker program at WCA. “It’s building a workforce pipeline.”
Gray had similar thoughts. “We’re helping each other,” he said. “Some really great job opportunities with Alabama Power may be afforded to (our students) in the future.”
In addition to purchasing classroom supplies and funding field trips, classroom grants may also be used to address mental health needs for students and educators during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Alabama Power Foundation’s website, www.powerofgood.com.
Classroom grants are available to schools that have a financial need, which a school is considered to have if 50 percent or more of its full-time students receive free or reduced-price lunches, according to the website.
More information about requirements and how to apply may be found on the site, as can information about other types of grants available. For example, Students to Stewards Grants support conservation education and outdoor classrooms while Power to Play Grants are meant to expand opportunities for, and increase student participation in, arts and athletics. The foundation also offers several different types of grants to towns and community organizations.
For more photos from the grant presentations, see future editions of the Alabamian.
See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.