Missouri State Teachers’ Association surprises Poplar Bluff educators with grants

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo (KBSI) – The Missouri State Teachers’ Association recently surprised a few Poplar Bluff teachers with $500 in grants.  

One of the teachers who was awarded a grant says this helps her buy the materials to keep her students engaged.  

“Last year was my first year teaching 4th grade so it kind of gave me an opportunity to see what resources I had, what materials I had, and what things kind of interested my students and to kind of think about ways that I could have items in my classroom to get more engaged in the learning,” said Ross. 

Poplar Bluff CTA President and 4th grade math teacher Karmen Carson used to sit on the board that gives out grants. She hopes that teachers who received this money think of creative ways to teach their students. 

“So, I think it helps teachers think outside the box and look for a different way to teach those standards that is more hands on, more project-based,” said Carson. 

Carey Wilkerson of Oak Grove is one of the winner. Wilkerson is purchasing decodable phonics books. 

Cheri Sparkman of Eugene Field is buying green screen supplies for stop motion video. 

Crystal Huddleston, Poplar Bluff High School business instructor, is investing in Monopoly boards for accounting class.  

Charlene Mills with Poplar Bluff Middle School is purchasing two LED microscopes.  

Dede Ross is sparking children’s design minds.  

“And they are each going to have certain criteria that they have to meet for designing a blueprint for a potential building that they are going to build, so we are going to go outside and use sidewalk chalk and graph paper and different things; we are going to construct a blueprint of what these buildings should look like with the different measurements I give to them,” said Ross. 

Ross says this type of different hands-on teaching can help spark interest in students, as she remembers from her own childhood education. 

“Kind of sparked an interest in them,” Ross said. “I remember being in shop class in like 6th grade and I was like, ‘This is the coolest stuff ever because it was something unique and different that you don’t ever get to do inside a classroom.’ And so I kind of wanted to bring that experience to my students. So having this opportunity is exciting.” 

Now that Ross won the grant, she says her class will begin with their project in the spring.

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