June 19, 2019
The Chesterfield Education Foundation (CEF) has awarded over $40,000 to educators throughout Chesterfield County Public Schools (CCPS) to increase innovation in the classroom through the foundation’s MCD Classroom Innovation Grant program. Close to 70 applications were submitted to CEF this spring for MCD Classroom Innovation grants to support innovative programs, projects and supplies for CCPS classrooms. The MCD Innovation Grant selection committee, made up of representatives from Chesterfield County Public Schools, and the foundation’s board of trustees, awarded 10 applicants’ grants ranging from $1,800 to $5,000.
The MCD Classroom Innovation grant program was originally funded by an anonymous donor whose sons had attended Chesterfield County Public Schools. This year the foundation received a $20,000 grant from Dupont to increase the programs reach in the county schools, allowing the foundation to double the number of awards given for next school year. The MCD Classroom Innovation grants are designed to encourage educators to think “outside the box” when considering how to deliver academic content and life skills to students in grades K – 12. According to GettingSmart.com, an online community for news, stories and leadership on innovations in learning and teaching, “The goal of getting an education isn’t to solve some of yesterday’s problems, but to tackle problems in the future that we don’t know about today, using technology that hasn’t been invented yet. Given this, what is needed in education is not evolution nor reform, but radical revolution – in both what is taught and how it is taught. In a meaningful way, we are starting to see the dawn of incredible innovation in teaching and learning. Innovations that go beyond technology.” The CCPS educators who apply for the MCD Classroom Innovation grants are a part of this radical revolution.
The projects funded include a high tech scientific stream study of Pocoshock Creek at Manchester Middle School; purchasing equipment for a media production lab at Midlothian High School, funding for a Robotics Competition at Ecoff Elementary School, sponsorship of a yearlong Girls Coding Club for 3-5 grade girls at Enon Elementary, a 3D printer for Occupational & Physical Therapists that serve the county’s special needs students, as well as several requests for S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) Room supplies including building sets, and unique instructional tools for teaching engineering skills.
The educators receiving MCD Innovation Grants for the 2019/20 school year are:
Douglas Rodgers, Alberta Smith Elementary School
Heather Russell & Nicole Scruggs, Ecoff Elementary School
Kimberly Rice, Enon Elementary School
Bethany Zacharias, Cosby High School
Amanda Beason, Chesterfield County Public Schools’ Dept. of Special Edudcation
Narshara Tucker, Manchester Middle School
Heather Murfee, Midlothian High School
Courtney Carpenter, Spring Run Elementary School
Michelle Allen, Swift Creek Elementary School