Area teachers getting mini-grants

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 15, 2000

DANIEL TYLER GOODEN / L’Observateur / November 15, 2000

LUTCHER – Two St. James Parish teachers have been awarded grants for theirunique classroom ideas. Darla Hymel and Tracy Elliot Zeringue recentlyreceived word they were chosen to receive $500 teacher mini grants from BellSouth.

Hymel and Zeringue follow a growing trend of teachers independently filing for grants to aid their classrooms. Recently four other teachers, two from St.James High and two from Gramercy Elementary, won 8(g) grants of almost $1,000 in value. The school system usually receives first word of possible grants andforwards the info to each school’s principle, said Mary Edwards, administrative director at St. James Parish School System. The teachers fillout the grants and return them to the central office, which makes sure they get where they’re supposed to go, Edwards added.

Hymel won her grant for her project “Seeing is Believing.” The project is fora science class of about 300 students from preschool to third grade and will address the needs of students with multiple learning styles all within state curriculum standards, Hymel wrote in her grant application.

The students will study local wildlife and wetland ecology both through textbooks and “live animals and touchable artifacts that encourage cooperative learning, problem solving and creative thinking among students,” wrote Hymel.

Zeringue, developing her project for ninth- through 12-grade students, decided to approach a more difficult topic titled “Time Travel,” a project designed to teach the history of the world by way of the construction of a time line. Theproject will utilize the talents of students in social studies, geometry, art and publications classes.

Phase one involves the social studies students using the internet to research significant people, events and inventions throughout time.

Phase two incorporates the geometry students who calculate available hall space and plan where each part will go on the Time Travel time line.

In phase three, art students create possible sketches then draw and paint the items on the line.

Phase four divides into two parts, one in which the publications class reproduces the time line on a smaller scale for the individual classes, and two in which video media students will document and air the project on the school’s television network, wrote Zeringue.

“These were competitive grants, so we’re really pretty happy about this,” said Edwards. These teachers are expanding their classrooms and using grants to doit, she added.

Hymel and Zeringue were scheduled to receive their grants from BellSouth and Mary Ann Francois at the St. James Parish School Board meeting Tuesday nightin Lutcher.

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