The Shenandoah County Education Association recently announced its 2019-2020 new teacher mini-grants to three new Shenandoah County Public School teachers.

This is the second year the grants have been awarded.

"It’s an important way to help new SCEA members prepare for the school year by buying supplies or innovative tools for their classroom to give our students the best education in the 21st Century," Jeff Rudy, president of the Shenandoah County Education Association as well as teacher and coach, stated in an email.

Winning one of the grants is Emily Vaughters, who teaches fifth-grade math and science at W.W. Robinson Elementary School. She plans to purchase a variety of science materials, including balance scales with metric weights, tuning forks for her class lessons on sound, prisms to explore light and more.

“It is my personal belief that in order for students to learn science, they have to do science. These materials will allow them to get hands-on experience with the concepts that we cover in class,” Vaughters stated in an email.

Vaughters noted that receiving the grant means a lot because science materials are costly.

“As much as I would like to have everything that I need, it is just not feasible for me to do that out of my own pocket. Being given a grant to purchase these materials takes a strain off of both myself and my school while still allowing my students to have experiences with science that they will remember for years to come,” she stated.

Other grant winners are:

Meredith Zirkle, a math and science teacher at Stonewall Jackson High School. In her application she said she would like a Lego board to enhance creative thinking and problem-solving. She wrote that tactile learning helps reinforce science and math skills, according to a SCEA press release.

Christina Carvajal, a fourth- and fifth-grade science teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School, wrote in her application that she wanted to purchase science materials for in-classroom use. She stated in the release that she wants to give her students access and opportunities to science experiments and observations.

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