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Lebanon Wilson County Chamber Awards Teacher Grants

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Through its Business & Education Coalition, the Lebanon Wilson County Chamber of Commerce continued its 19-year-long tradition of supporting the efforts of teachers in the classroom recently by awarding grants to local educators.

Grants were awarded to Winfree Bryant Middle School, McClain Christian Academy (MCA) and Carroll Oakland Elementary.

Grants ranged from less than $200 to the maximum of $500 awarded by the Teacher Grant Extra Mile Educator Program, according to chamber officials. Some of the grant proposals were submitted by individual teachers, while others involved two or more educators.

Winfree Bryant sixth-graders in the Extend & Innovation Club presented the "Winfree Bryant Makey Faire," where attendees has the opportunity to view and play with more than a dozen amazing projects created by the school's students. The projects were created using SCRATCH computer programming skills and "Makey Makeys" purchased with funds from a chamber teacher grant.

MCA teacher Tonya Sacci was awarded an education grant in the amount of $480, and the funds were used to purchase keyboards to be used to teach students of all ages to read and play music. Math and reading instruction will also be integrated into the program. At the end of the project, each student will enter a music fair, explaining what music means to them and how it relates to other subjects.

Carroll Oakland Elementary teacher Melissa Williams also received a $480 grant, and the funds were used to acquire educational videos. For use during students' library time, the videos cover a broad range of subjects and are used as reinforcement of subjects taught in the classroom.

To date, over 433 grants have been presented, totaling nearly $176,000. Ken Howell, who has served as chairman of the chamber's Business & Education Coalition since its inception in 1996, presides over the grant presentations. Jackie Gaither and Kevin Gaines, the G-Team, have sponsored the annual grant awards breakfast since 1996 as well. Funding for the grants comes from corporate sponsors and Lebanon Wilson County Chamber of Commerce events, with the Taste of Wilson County serving as the signature fundraising event for the program.

A student project from Winfree Bryant Middle School's "Makey Faire." SUBMITTED / The Wilson Post
Lebanon Wilson County Chamber Education Committee member Kevin Davenport, Carroll Oakland teacher Melissa Williams, Education Committee member Alesia Burnley and Chamber Chairman John Bradshaw showcase a variety of educational videos. SUBMITTED / The Wilson Post
MCA students use a keyboard purchased with grant funding from the Lebanon Wilson County Chamber of Commerce Business & Education Coalition. SUBMITTED / The Wilson Post
Lebanon Wilson County Chamber Education Committee member Kevin Davenport, Chamber President Melanie Minter and Chamber Chairman John Bradshaw visit with McClain Christian Academy teacher Tonya Sacci and her students. SUBMITTED / The Wilson Post
Lebanon Wilson County Chamber President Melanie Minter, Winfree Bryant teacher Margie Hawkins and Lebanon Wilson County Chamber Education Chair Scott Jasper. SUBMITTED / The Wilson Post
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