Stephanie Tolley, an English language arts and social studies teacher at Jonesborough Middle School, and Cheryl Honeycutt, a fourth grade math and science teacher at Ridgeview Elementary, split nearly $14,000 in grant funding for new technology for their respective classrooms. Tolley received $7,086 for her grant application “TNT-Explosive Teaching with Powerful Technology”, while Honeycutt’s $6,816 check will go toward providing Chrome Books for each student in her classroom.
“It’s humbling to me to see the creativity our teachers have taking small amounts of money and being such good stewards of that to help catalyze learning in their classrooms and spur innovation in their students,” QUEST chairman James Harlan said.
|Fourteen schools benefitted
|Fifty-two classrooms impacted
For the past seven years, the QUEST foundation has provided funds for programs and materials that are unavailable to the county through current federal state and local funding. Harlan and Director of Schools Kimber Halliburton said technology is at the forefront of these programs because of the important role it will play in the lives of teachers and students in the classroom — and out.
“In today’s time, there’s so many rich resources, so many academic resources that are online and available to our students and our teachers that you really are at a disadvantage if you don’t have the tools to access those resources,” Halliburton said, adding that funding like this helps the county edge toward meeting the standards set by the International Society for Technology in Education.
Funds for these grants are provided each year from donors in the community. Harlan said sometimes choosing recipients can be difficult each year due to the available funding. As of now, the board vets six to eight grant applications that he said he feels deserve the funding. For that to happen, he estimated that the foundation would need to rake in about $100,000 per year, which would have to come from donations from the community.
“For these children it means a better life, better jobs, for the community it means people who have the ability to invest in the community and give back to the community and sustain what’s a great place we have to live and work today,” Harlan said. “To give each student the opportunity to have that personal touch is a step forward in their ability to learn. As soon as they leave the classroom that same technology is being used in all walks of life whether it’s at the grocery store or their jobs.”
More information about the QUEST foundation can be found at https://www.wcde.org/quest.