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Optimist Club grants boost service options to youth

MADISON – Seventeen classes and groups for youth will benefit from educational grants that Optimist Club of Madison recently awarded.

Optimist President Ann van Leeuwen and Grant and Essay Chairperson Scott Piro presented grant funds to teachers and students in Madison City Schools:

* Journey Middle School – Journey’s Greenpower Racing Team with Ashley Bowden as sponsor will buy necessary tools for the team to stock their toolkit for building Greenpower race cars. Greenpower USA, an engineering-based program, allows students to gain experience with mechanical and electrical engineering.

* Columbia Elementary School – For a fifth-grade science class, Jayna Stockwell will buy a grow light and ecocolumn stabilizers for a semester-long ecosystems unit. (An ecocolumn is a small-scale version of an ecosystem.)

* Discovery Middle School – Destination Imagination with Leslie Hughes will receive support for programs in STEM and the arts.

* Journey – Journey Jag Choir, led by Alicia Mulloy, will buy music, “This Is Why We Sing” by Greg Gilpin. Each choir student will receive one copy for the Journey Spring Choir Concert.

* Bob Jones High School — Members will receive pins, lanyards and/or T-shirts to easily identify Peer Helpers from the remainder of the student body. Ky Edger is sponsor.

* Journey – Each Math Team member will have a distinguishing team T-shirt. Mrinal Joshi is sponsor.

* Discovery – The grant will ease high costs for members’ participation in Robotics Club. Expenses include the platform from VEX to build custom robots, registration fees to attend competitions, travel costs and other needs. Amanda Haynes is sponsor.

* Discovery — Technology Student Association Club, led by Amanda Haynes, will use the grant to help with financial costs of hosting a student event.

* Columbia – Teachers will use “ABCs of Innovation: Engaging STEM Exploration for All Abilities” to foster inclusive education in classrooms for grades K-2, including students with special needs. Julie Vandiver is sponsor.

* Discovery, Journey and Liberty middle schools; Bob Jones and James Clemens high schools — Rebecca Page is contact. Spanish classes want to host a district-wide convention.

* AVID students – AVID abbreviates “Advancement Via Individual Determination.” The grant will help to pay for a bus and substitute teacher for this college and career preparation class’ field trip to Calhoun Community College. Kelsey Cooper is their teacher.

* Rainbow Elementary School — Melonie Yabarra will buy test kits for Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program or VB-MAPP for students in Early Beginnings Pre-School and Pre-Kindergarten.

* Bob Jones Theatre – Director Mary Davis will buy specific types of tape for shows that drama classes produce. “As a department, we believe every child in one of our drama classes should have the opportunity to perform in a play,” Davis said.

* Discovery — Adrienne King will buy a set of calculators for math classes.

* Journey – For her classroom library, Maria White will buy high-quality books across several genres to cater to her students’ diverse interests and reading abilities.

* Discovery — Brittany Cox will implement a hands-on activity in STEM and use snap circuits.

* Discovery – For the Panther Racing Team, Melisa Morowski will buy 12-volt batteries for the competition car.

Optimists contributed a total of $3,400 in grants for educational enhancements.

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