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West Madison receives first PPG Aerospace education grant

Principal Dr. Daphne Jah, at right, accepted a Public Education Leadership Community grant for $1,000 to West Madison Elementary School from Paul Wright with PPG Aerospace. School counselor Stephanie Allen assisted with the grant proposal. (CONTRIBUTED)
Principal Dr. Daphne Jah, at right, accepted a Public Education Leadership Community grant for $1,000 to West Madison Elementary School from Paul Wright with PPG Aerospace. School counselor Stephanie Allen assisted with the grant proposal. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – PPG Aerospace in Huntsville was issued its first Public Education Leadership Community grant for $1,000 to West Madison Elementary School.

The PPG Foundation awarded the grant. West Madison’s local sponsor is Paul Wright, an engineer and employee at PPG Aerospace on U.S. 72 E. in Huntsville.

“PPG’s Huntsville plant manufactures transparencies for the aerospace industry, including military and commercial markets and anti-ballistic glass for vehicles,” West Madison counselor Stephanie Allen said.

The plant started operations in 1969 and employs 595 people.

Allen and partners from Eagle Consulting applied for the grant. For more than 60 years, the PPG Foundation has supported organizations that address educational, cultural, arts and civic needs of communities with PPG and PPG employees.

With the grant, one objective is developing a mentoring program for the 20-member Student Leadership Team (SLT) of fifth- and sixth-grade boys. These students will set examples and mentor younger peers at West Madison.

West Madison Principal Dr. Daphne Jah founded the team in 2010 “to create responsible and successful young men by enabling them to demonstrate leadership in our community,” Allen said.

The grant will allow students to receive “character-focused leadership” from Eagle Consulting, Allen said. The “The Empowered You” session will focus on “tools for self-awareness and recognition of students’ strengths and weaknesses.”

Students used a character assessment to gain input from teachers, parents and other adults to assess eight character traits that align with effective leadership qualities.”

In “Accepting Responsibility,” students will learn about proactive versus reactive behavior and taking charge of their choices. “A trained leadership coach will engage students with hands-on learning activities that require team building and leadership qualities, like a team egg launch and ‘The Human Knot'” physical exercise, Allen said.

Both activities require students to practice communication skills, teamwork and physical activity. Students also received “Random Acts of Kindness” challenges to develop social intelligence and empathy, Allen said.

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