JA awards mini-grants to elementary schools
READING SKILLS Counselor Dianna Schiedel reads "Band Aid Chicken" to third-grader Janna Arinder on Oakland Heights Elementary School's new Peace Able Porch. Photo by Carisa McCain/ The Meridian Star
By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
March 24, 2002
Teachers and students from 11 local schools are benefiting from about $10,000 in mini-grants awarded this semester by the Junior Auxiliary of Meridian.
During a time of uncertain funding and cuts in classroom enhancement funds, teachers say they are especially grateful for the gifts.
Meridian and Lauderdale County teachers from public, private and parochial schools applied for the grants in the fall. This year, the Junior Auxiliary focused on kindergarten through fifth grade classes in the area of reading.
At Oakland Heights Elementary School, counselors Dianna Schiedel and Leslie Jenkins received a grant to add furniture and order books for their project, "Rocking and Reading on the Peace Able Porch."
The porch itself was built by volunteers from Meridian Community College during its annual "My College Cares Day."
The school has ordered furnishings for the porch and books that encourage good character behavior. Schiedel said she hopes to have everything completed this week. The porch will be used by all of the school's classes.
The project is one of three that received grants at Oakland Heights.
Three teachers at Lamar School Beth Rhett, LaNita Douglas and Susan Smith received grants to supplement the first and second grade reading curriculum. Smith said the money will be used for more "Sing, Spell, Read and Write" books.
Smith said teachers started using the curriculum last year and an improvement in reading ability is already evident.
Here is a complete list of grants awarded by the Junior Auxiliary this semester:
Meridian Public School District
Crestwood Elementary, $300
Oakland Heights Elementary, three grants totaling $1,200
Poplar Springs Elementary, two grants totaling $592
West End Elementary, $506
West Hills Elementary, $600
Lauderdale County School
Clarkdale Attendance Center, four grants totaling $1,261
Northeast Elementary, five grants totaling $1,503
Northeast Middle, $550
Southeast Elementary, three grants totaling $1,495
Lamar School, two grants totaling $1,190
St. Patrick School, $300.