The education systems across North Carolina are constantly facing funding restraints when it comes to supplies and teaching tools for the classroom. In an effort to assist teachers ease those restraints, Clinton City Schools grant writer Faith Jackson recently sat down with teachers and offered a workshop on writing grants.
According to Jackson, the grant writing days were offered and set aside for teachers, giving them the opportunity to put their ideas on paper.
“Teachers are so busy and often times they do not have a designated time, because they have obligations that are necessary,” Jackson said. “The mission for having grant writing days was to establish that designated time.”
Vital for the enhancement of what students want and need to learn, Jackson said grants are typically items that teachers feel they need for a particular lesson or activity they want to accomplish with their students.
“The teachers of Clinton City Schools have spectacular ideas and there are local and non-local grantors that enjoy investing in teachers and our students,” Jackson said. “Grants are a way that the grantors can feel a part of the classroom and the lives of our students. We want to impact instruction by providing resources that go beyond meeting our students and teachers needs and that can deeply impact them on multiple levels.”
Clinton High School theater arts teacher Sarah Burton has plans to take her advanced students to a play festival, thanks to the funding she received from one grant. She has received two others that were for musical theater.
“As anyone in North Carolina knows, we don’t have enough money in schools to go on trips, pay royalties on musicals,” Burton said. “Teachers and students are expected to raise funds for these extras. These funds allow us to expand our students’ minds.”
Having a grant writer within the system, Burton said, relieves stress on the teachers.
“I think it is of great benefit to have a grant writer,” she added. “It is very hectic in the classroom and time spent taking a chance on getting money is time not spent entering grades. With a built in expert, it is much easier to try writing a grant because there is help and the process goes more quickly.”
Teachers in Clinton City Schools received more than $150,000 in grant funding during the last school year. This is more than double the amount received the previous year. With these funds, Jackson said schools and teachers were able to purchase books, Chrome books, author visits, artist visits, professional development, garden beds, sporting equipment and other hands-on-resources for schools.
“Teachers that came in during the grant writing day were numerous,” Jackson shared. “They were open to submitting and adding to their ideas to get resources for their students, all that came by had their students’ needs and wants in the forefront of their minds.”
Sampson Middle School seventh grade math teacher Terri Richardson was one of the teachers who utilized the assistance. Richardson has received many grants in the past, but has plans to continue working to receive more funds.
“I find it helpful to have someone to bounce ideas off of and get another person’s input during the writing process,” Richardson said. “It is very nice to have someone who can handle the logistics of purchasing after the grant is received.”
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.