Colonial Life awards $26,000 to Richland One teachers

Grants support innovative and creative lesson ideas in the classroom.

Teacher helping young studient at her desk

COLUMBIA, S.C. (Oct. 26, 2015) — Colonial Life is awarding $26,000 in grants to 32 teachers in Richland One through its Strong Schools Grant program. The program supports teachers in the school district who have innovative and creative ideas for increasing student engagement. Teachers applied to receive grants of up to $1,000 to purchase equipment and technology for science, technology, engineering, arts and math courses.

“Many teachers in our communities have great ideas for different approaches to learning, but sometimes they lack the resources to put their ideas into action,” said Marie McGehee, community relations manager for Colonial Life. “Our hope is these mini-grants to outstanding teachers will help prepare the next generation of our community’s workforce.”

Teachers in 17 Richland One schools received grants for the following projects:

A.C. Flora High School

  • Alison Espinosa – Grant will fund computer-based data collection devices and microphones so math students can collect waveforms of sounds from voices and musical instruments to study trigonometric functions.

Alcorn Middle School

  • Lisa L. Burden – Grant will fund metric dragster kits and coping saws to provide middle school students with real-world applications of the engineering design process and the study of force and motion.

C.A. Johnson High School

  • Maj. Reginald Slade – Grant will fund flight simulators, quadcopter foldable kits with flight controllers and hot air balloon kits to help JROTC students learn aviation and aerospace technologies.

Dreher High School

  • Jennifer Gorlewski – Grant will fund a program to help visual arts students learn what it takes to run a ceramics business by creating and selling ceramic artwork and products.
  • Laurie McKee – Grant will fund cameras used by art, technology and photography students to submit photos for competitions, the school’s literary magazine and the school yearbook.
  • Rebecca Smith-Hill – Grant will fund a field trip to a grocery store and food and supplies for a cooking project that will expose moderately intellectually disabled students to basic recipe-reading skills, math skills, community engagement skills and cooking techniques.

Eau Claire High School

  • Janice B. Johnson – Grant will fund art supplies and a camera so visual arts students can construct an indoor kite and document the process of planning, problem-solving, construction, testing and evaluating indoor kite design and flying.
  • Daniel Goodman – Grant will fund music software, instrumental microphones, band music and an iPad mini to help students improve their musical performance through immediate feedback by listening to their recordings and watching correct and incorrect rhythms and pitches on screen.

Heyward Gibbes Middle School

  • Ayanna Mayes – Grant will fund robotic balls and accessory packs used by math students to create a spherical robot lab. Students will control the direction, speed and lighting of the robot using existing mobile applications and building their own computer programs that interact with the robot.
  • Valerie James, Mara Thomas, Herbert McElvain and Suman Jaggi – Grant will fund modeling clay and other art supplies for social studies students to create models and sketches to teach others about forms of technology that developed in history from ancient times to present day, such as sundials, windmills and cannons.

Heyward Career and Technology Center

  • Melva Kennedy – Grant will fund a food nutrient analysis kit, food chemistry kit, bag of germs set, and other science materials and food used by special needs students in a hospitality and tourism class to conduct experiments on food items. They’ll learn about bacteria growth and study nutrients including sugar, starch, lipids, proteins and vitamins.

Hopkins Middle School

  • Melvynn Tremaine Waddell-Malone – Grant will fund ukuleles and accompaniment materials to help students learn about the science of sound, understand the physics of standing waves on strings and create original music through independent playing.

W.J. Keenan High School

  • KaReem Beckett – Grant will fund solar panels, a matrix panel and a processor used by physics and engineering students to design and build a model of a section of a smart roadway. They’ll explore how embedded sensors and energy-producing materials within the infrastructure of the road system can reduce traffic fatalities and aid drivers with warnings of unexpected road conditions ahead.

Lower Richland High School

  • Constantina Green – Grant will fund seed starter kits, planting mix, gardening tools and commercial fertilizer used by biology students to discover if there’s a difference between fertilizer produced by the school’s vermiculture bed and commercially available organic fertilizer.

Meadowfield Elementary School

  • Meredith Trobaugh – Grant will fund ukuleles and accompaniment materials to help students learn about the science of sound, understand the physics of standing waves on strings and create original music through independent playing.

Pendergrass Fairwold School

  • Tracy Caroline – Grant will fund a new sensory station including bubble tube lighting mirrors, multi-textured tactile mat, vibrating stimulating toy, wheelchair arch activity and vibrating pillow with switch and pressure activity to provide enhanced sensory experiences for special needs students.

Southeast Middle School

  • Felicia Collins – Grant will fund electric kit books, conductive fabric and craft materials to encourage middle school girls to consider electrical engineering careers by studying electricity, fabric patterns, design and computer programming.
  • Chantis Edens – Grant will fund music software, instrumental microphones, band music and an iPad mini to help students improve their musical performance through immediate feedback by listening to their recordings and watching correct and incorrect rhythms and pitches on screen.

Webber Elementary School

  • Tameshia Magwood – Grant will fund ukuleles and accompaniment materials to help students learn about the science of sound, understand the physics of standing waves on strings and create original music through independent playing.

Rocket Project Grants

Grants will fund the study of motion and flight through model rocket design and launch in partnership with the Challenger Learning Center.

A.C. Moore Elementary School

  • Nancy Frick

Alcorn Middle School

  • Sandy Frazier and Lisa Burden

Challenger Learning Center

  • Robyn Mance

Eau Claire High School

  • Latha Janet

Forest Heights Elementary School

  • Barbara Dire

Gadsden Elementary School

  • Kelley Sullivan and Veronica Primus

Heyward Gibbes Middle School

  • Dr. Margaret Ekeh-Anama W.J.

Keenan High School

  • Alexandria Williams

Southeast Middle School

  • Lakia Mustipher-Gaines

“These grants will allow our teachers to implement creative projects to enhance the learning experience for their students,” said Dr. Craig Witherspoon, Richland One superintendent. “Colonial Life is one of the district’s longtime business partners and the Strong Schools Grant program is yet another example of the company’s ongoing support.”

This is the third year Colonial Life has funded the Strong Schools Grant program, totaling more than $75,000 over the past three years. Colonial Life’s education partnerships also include a long-term reading and mentoring relationship with St. Andrews Middle School, after-school enrichment programs with Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands at E.E. Taylor Elementary School, support for H.B. Rhame Elementary School students through Harvest Hope Food Bank’s Backpack Feeding Program, and College Summit’s Peer Leader Academy summer workshops with Columbia High School students.

About Richland One

One of the state’s largest school districts, Richland One educates 24,000 students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade at 52 schools and centers in urban, suburban and rural neighborhoods in Columbia, South Carolina. Richland One is a nationally accredited district, a prestigious distinction that reflects a community-wide commitment to excellence and continuous improvement. For more information, visit www.richlandone.org and stay connected to what’s happening in Richland One at www.facebook.com/r1schools, www.twitter.com/richlandone and on Richland One TV (Time Warner Cable channel 12 in the Greater Columbia area).

About Colonial Life

Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company is a market leader in providing financial protection benefits through the workplace, including disability, life, accident, dental, cancer, critical illness and hospital confinement indemnity insurance. The company’s benefit services and education, innovative enrollment technology and personal service support more than 80,000 businesses and organizations, representing more than 3 million of America’s workers and their families. For more information visit www.coloniallife.com or connect with the company at www.facebook.com/coloniallifebenefits, www.twitter.com/coloniallife and www.linkedin.com/company/colonial-life.