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The Gallatin Chamber Foundation presented 14 Innovation and Enhancement Awards to teachers from 10 public schools across the city on Aug. 28. RICK MURRAY

The Gallatin Chamber Foundation has awarded $14,921 in grants to teachers from 10 public schools across the city that will be used to help fund innovative educational projects and initiatives for students.

The 14 recipients of grants this year were announced prior to the start of the Gallatin and Station Camp high school football game on Aug. 28. Funding was raised primarily though the annual Shamrock Run in March along with a showing of the movie “Hocus Pocus” at the Palace Theatre last year.

“Our chamber foundation grants correlate directly with the chamber’s mission to support, educate and engage our future workforce in the Gallatin community,” Gallatin Area Chamber of Commerce CEO Kim Baker said. “This year, more than ever, we feel that these grants make a significant difference in the lives of local students, allowing teachers to get creative and innovate.”

Since 2014, the foundation has presented more than $50,000 to K-12 public schools in Gallatin.

The nonprofit plans to expand its awards in the upcoming year to include scholarships for graduating seniors. Applications for the James B. Hawkins Good Neighbor Scholarship, named in honor of the late Gallatin attorney and Sumner County School Board member, will be available this fall to seniors at Gallatin and Station Camp high schools who “exemplify the traits of a good citizen,” according to Baker.

“We believe that there’s no better way to honor Jim’s legacy than through two of the areas he was always very dedicated to – being a good citizen and education,” Baker said. “Through our scholarship, Jim’s legacy will continue to live on by helping educate the next generation of standout citizens.”

The Gallatin Chamber Foundation’s School Innovation and Enhancement Award recipients and projects for 2020 are:

Benny Bills Elementary School

Ashley Downs: The project will add flexible desks and seating to the classroom. The desks are ergonomic and designed for efficiency and comfort in the working environment.

Kathy Vinson: The project will provide resources that will allow teachers to address the social and emotional needs of students as well as ensure they are able to utilize resources that represent the various backgrounds of the students and families represented within the community while avoiding biases.

Stacy Benton: The project will introduce students to coding with the purchase of four Ozobot starter kits. The small ball-shaped robots are controlled by coding and would be integrated into the lesson plans for the classroom each week. A coding club utilizing the robots would also be created.

Gallatin High School

Sandy Hale: The project will add a sewing club to the school’s extracurricular offerings that will eventually include crochet and other crafts.

Dave Parker: The project will add tooling for CNC machines, which will help students become workforce ready as they learn how to operate machines that many local industries use in their facilities.

Scott Pascarella: The grant will help support the Criminal Justice S.T.E.M. program’s annual spring semester project, which involves four days of on-site criminal investigation of a fictional crime along with a crime scene investigation and one day of a related courtroom trial.

Guild Elementary School

Heather Hays: The project will allow the school’s house system, made up of fifth graders, to implement the House Council Legacy Initiative. The House Council will implement ideas and solutions to improve Guild before the students transition to middle school.

Howard Elementary School

Brittany Tyree: The grant will allow students to create their own stop motion animated movies by allowing for the purchase of supplies needed to create each scene or story in their film.

Rucker-Stewart Middle School

Misty Ann Donoho: The grant will support the Rucker Shake, a schoolwide program focusing on soft skills and confidence for public speaking that is based off of the Ron Clark Academy Amazing Shake.

Shafer Middle School

Kate Kennedy: The project will add a “Free Little Library” and a “Kindness Rock Garden” that will not only promote kindness and literacy, but also give students an opportunity to show good citizenship and courtesy by maintaining a part of the school.

Station Camp Elementary School

Amy McAllister: The project will help inspire students to build and critically think by funding STEM Bins – plastic boxes filled with items like LEGO bricks, pattern blocks, Dixie cups, toothpicks and playdough or popsicle sticks with Velcro. The boxes also contain sets of task cards that picture a variety of basic real-world structures students can create.

Station Camp Middle School

Tyler Raines: The project will allow S.T.E.M. students to build and activate robots while computer students get to program/code them. Both classes will then cooperatively use the robots to perform various tasks with most students getting to participate in the building, coding and testing process throughout the year.

Union S.T.E.M. and Demonstration School

Jacqueline Quinton Creasy: The project will provide a rolling car that any teacher or staff member at the school could use to integrate visual art, music, theater, dance and English Language Arts easily into their classroom.

Vena Stuart Elementary School

Cynthia McGuire: The project involves the creation of sensory sidewalks and hallways that will benefit all students, especially those with sensory processing deficits and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

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