Colonial Life Awards $20,000 to Lexington Two Teachers

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Colonial Life is awarding $20,000 in grants to more than 20 Lexington School District Two educators 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 resources that support lessons focused on world-class knowledge and skills and life and career characteristics as outlined in the Profile of the S.C. Graduate.

“We are ecstatic about the partnership formed between Colonial Life and Lexington Two. The collaboration wholeheartedly captures and encompasses the tenants of the district’s vision and mission, which speak to working with our community to ensure that Lexington Two excels in preparing all students for continuous learning and career success,” Dr. Marcella Heyward-Evans, Chief Instructional Officer, Lexington School District Two, said. “The support afforded to our educators via the grant funding will allow our teachers to provide robust and viable classroom experiences that are grounded in world class skills, knowledge and life and career characteristics.”

In three previous years of the program, Colonial Life has funded more than $75,000 for the Strong Schools Grant program.

Teachers in 11 Lexington Two schools received grants for the following projects:

B-C Grammar School No. 1

  • Ashton Jones and Carin Sease – Grant will fund project costs, Beta club dues and pins to help Junior Beta Club students create projects based on prominent leaders in history and within the community.
  • Erica Mechling – Grant will fund transportation and guest experience costs to help pre-kindergarten students learn about the world around them through field studies at the fire department, library and nursing home and the process of harvesting food to table.
  • Mackenzie Fulmer – Grant will fund books and developmental play center resources to provide kindergarten students the opportunity to explore a variety of careers and math, science, reading and social studies practice skills.

Brookland Cayce High School

  • James Brown – Grant will fund project kits that will allow high school students to observe, measure and analyze trout growth and behavior in the tank versus current environmental efforts and the human impact on watersheds and waterways.
  • Mike Harlen – Grant will fund the opportunity for high school students to participate in a code writing process to test and debug code to create a competition robot.

Busbee Creative Arts Academy

  • Michelle James – Grant will fund an invention game-based program, headphones and the Scholastic Action Magazine to help build addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, reading and writing skills for middle school students in special education classes.

Cayce Elementary School

  • Debra Davis and Vanessa Burgos-Kelly – Grant will fund informational text and props to increase elementary students’ vocabulary, reading fluency rate and comprehension skills.
  • Jeanette Samuels – Grant will fund career costumes, books and field trips that will help pre-kindergarten students learn about different careers.
  • Jennifer S. Byrum – Grant will fund books that will teach second graders about different genres, life experiences and cultures.
  • Kim Addy – Grant will fund book storage pouches and leveled-reader box book sets to enhance first graders’ reading experiences and comprehension levels.

Congaree Elementary School

  • Carolyn Lowman – Grant will fund a variety of leveled books to engage second graders and increase their confidence and ability to read.
  • Lorri Wright Wood – Grant will fund textbooks that will aid second graders in researching science and social studies topics for classroom projects.

Congaree/Wood Early Childhood Center

  • Kathy Hutto – Grant will fund a classroom library of bilingual books that will teach pre-kindergarten students about animals, community workers and our transportation system.

Fulmer Middle School

  • Mary Davis – Grant will fund overlay software with voice-output devices to help middle school students with moderate intellectual disabilities, including non-verbal students, anchor the school’s daily news.

Pair Education Center

  • Karen M. Stevens – Grant will fund field studies conducted during mentoring sessions that focus on goal setting, life skills, conflict-resolution and healthy friendships for “at-risk” youth.
  • Lynn Moseley and Suzette Brunson – Grant will fund science lab tools and materials for ninth and tenth grade students to conduct experiments for physical and chemical property changes and states of matter.

Pineview Elementary School

  • Chesley Geyer – Grant will fund electromagnetic and snap circuit kits that will allow third grade students to build models and create an Electricity Museum.
  • Kathy Seibert – Grant will fund Ozobot bits to help prepare fourth and fifth grade students for a future in science, technology, robotics, engineering, and math.
  • Teresa Areheart – Grant will fund take-home books, reading games and activity supplies to engage parents in helping their emerging and young readers learn tools and strategies to increase reading ability and confidence.

Saluda River Academy for the Arts

  • Jessica Dorn – Grant will fund Osmo gaming kits to help third through fifth graders creatively solve problems, build vocabulary and spelling skills and enhance math and computer science skills.

Springdale Elementary School

  • Amanda M. Gunter – Grant will fund field trips for pre-kindergarten students to gain real-world experiences at a local farm and pumpkin patch, a grocery store, fire and police stations and the Columbia Children’s Theatre.