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October 28, 2016

Snapping Shoals EMC recently awarded $15,000 in grants to Newton County School System teachers through the co-op’s Bright Ideas program. The grants, which are allocated from unclaimed capital credit funds, are designed to help teachers who wish to extend educational opportunities and activities for students by developing student interests and abilities.

Before congratulating all of the grant winners, SSEMC Vice President of Engineering Services Todd Mooney explained how these grant funds are made available through the company.

“We are able to provide these grants through unclaimed capitol credits,” said Mooney. “Snapping Shoals EMC is a non-profit and these funds are accumulated through the dollars we have left over after our operating costs are paid for. We give these back to our members as capital credits every year. There are a lot of members who move off our system and although we try our best to reach out to everyone, sometimes we don’t have forwarding addresses. When that happens, we have unclaimed dollars that accumulate. We are fortunate enough to be able to hold onto these dollars now because prior to 2005 we were required to turn those funds over to the state and they could use them however they wanted to.”

According to Mooney, Snapping Shoals EMC uses the funds to give back to the local community in various ways, such as the Bright Ideas grants for local teachers. Snapping Shoals also supports economic development, education, and other local non-profit agencies.

“We look forward to what we can continue to do in the future with these dollars,” Mooney added. “Teachers hold a very special place in my heart and I’m excited to be involved in this program. I can’t wait to see what you accomplish with these grants.”

“There were a lot of wonderful ideas submitted this year and each of one of the grants selected for funding will benefit our students,” said Dr. Kathy Garber, Newton County School System Grant Coordinator.

This year’s grant recipients include:

  • Terry Badertscher, Cousins Middle School:Life in the Outdoors.” Students will engage in outdoor learning through activities in a new greenhouse, a butterfly garden, and plantings in an existing pond and bog area.
  • Lynn Behnke, Oak Hill Elementary School:Living History in Georgia.” Students will study our state’s history through Atlanta History Center oral presentations and historical reproduction artifacts, photos, and period clothing.

  • Jessi Braswell, Cousins Middle School:Simple Machines in the Outdoors.” Students will learn creatively in an outdoor Physical Science lab with ramps, pulleys, and other simple machines to study speed, velocity, Newton’s laws of motion.

  • Leslie Cole, Newton College & Career Academy:Genetic Identification DNA Fingerprinting.” Students will use gel electrophoresis to analyze DNA from a mock crime scene to determine which of 3 suspects most likely committed the crime.

  • Alisa Echols, Eastside High School: Research, Readiness, and Resumes.” Students will use Resume Deluxe software to create professional resumes and participate in video lessons on job searching, interviewing, etc.

  • Tracy Ethridge, Indian Creek Middle School: STEM Greenhouse Project.” Students will use moisture, temperature, pH, and Oxygen sensors to study plant growth and ways to increase productivity.

  • Sabrina Fulton-Allen, Barbara Mitchell, Live Oak Elementary School:Superheroes on a Journey to the World of Reading,” Students will use Phonics Kits for Reading and Spelling to improve phonics, fluency, and decoding skills.

  • Cindi Helms, Fairview Elementary School: Google Cardboard Virtual Reality.” Students will use this software to interact with a variety of environments in a 360-degree virtual reality, as though they are actually in that environment.

  • Sara Hodges, South Salem Elementary School:Dewey Document Camera.” Students will use document cameras and iPads for hands-on learning in STEM using math manipulatives, science experiments, and educational websites, and writing exemplars. 

  • Lilly Houston, West Newton Elementary” Students will use the SpellingCity program to increase their understanding of how word patterns help them become better spellers and make sense of their writing.

  • Jan Hudson, Jennifer Cole, Fairview Elementary School:Little Free Library.” By placing two Little Free Libraries at Fairview ES, students, families, and other community members will have greater access to books during non-school days.

  • Mandy Jones, Heard-Mixon Elementary School: Robotics: Ready, Set, Go.” Students will plan, build, test and modify robots to improve their understanding of STEM concepts and prepare for competitions against other elementary robotics teams.

  • Lori McGovern, Indian Creek Middle School:Lights, Camera, Action.” Students will create videos and presentations with real-world applications and authentic audiences in a production micro-studio with iPod Touches, microphones, and editing apps.

  • Debora Ondracek, Porterdale Elementary School:Bringing the Past Alive.” Through the purchase of children’s drama/theatre books, studio lighting equipment, and make-up kits, students will write and produce plays based on historical events.

  • Elijah Parham, Newton High School:Nursery Landscape Project.” Students in the Nursery Landscape class will beautify the grounds of NHS with flower beds and a school garden through the purchase of a variety of necessary garden tools.

  • Chantae Pittman, Alcovy High School:Beyond Performance.” Students in several music programs will be able to reinforce and enrich music theory, sight reading, and performance ensemble skills with new advanced music software.

  • Catrina Pollard, Eastside High School: Blooming Eagles.” Students will gain access to all the tools they would use in a real life floral shop as they participate in the Floral Design Pathway and hope to open their own floral shop at Eastside High.

  • Marcus Pollard, Newton College & Career Academy:Eyes on Nature.” Students will use the wildlife management book A Sandy County Almanac and a GoPro camera career and wildlife exploration, observing animals on campus and around the county.

  • Kimberly Porterfield, Porterdale Elementary School:Aquaponics.” Students will use an Aquasprouts system for growing herbs and vegetables and a fish aquarium to learn about plant growth and the symbiotic relationship between plants and animals.

  • Shannon Price, Flint Hill Elementary School:Science Made Fun.” Kindergarten students will learn about physical properties, life cycles, and the scientific process using equipment and supplies for a variety of science experiments.

  • Alexandra Quinones, South Salem Elementary School:Books for All.” A visually impaired student in a 2nd grade class will have access to a variety of books in Braille to spark the student’s interest in reading and help him master all 2nd grade standards.

  • Elizabeth Rogers, Katie Sauls, Newton County Theme School:First Grade STEAM.” Through a variety of STEM kits, such as STEM Early Learning, Real World Challenge, Fairy Tales Problem Solving Kits, students will increase their skills in STEM areas.

  • Rene Seals, Palmer Stone.I Have Something to Say.” Through the purchase of an alternative augmentation communication device, non-verbal students will have a voice to be heard, to learn, and to express their unique abilities.

  • Leslie Studdard, Middle Ridge Elementary School:The Einstein Movement.” Students in Grades K-5 will use Einstein Tablets to increase understanding in Math and Science through fun, engaging, hands-on activities.

  • Jodie Williams, Palmer Stone.Playing is Learning.” Students with significant disabilities will participate in recreational/leisure activities through the Lending Library with accessible toys, switches, and devices for play.

  • Michael Wright, Rocky Plains Elementary School:The Outside Chicken Project.” Students will learn about animal adaptations, composting, soil, and organic eggs in a project that involves the development of an outdoor learning area with picnic tables, an outdoor dry-erase board, and a chicken coop.

Snapping Shoals Electric Membership Corporation is a consumer-owned electric cooperative providing electric service to approximately 95,000 homes and businesses in an eight-county area. Most of the utility’s service area is in Newton, Rockdale and Henry counties. Portions of DeKalb, Butts, Walton, Morgan and Jasper counties are also included. The company’s headquarters is on Brown Bridge Road in Newton County.