RCE receives grant to fund STEM project

Red Cross Elementary received a $5,000 grant from the Tennessee Valley Authority, in partnership with Bicentennial Volunteers Incorporated, to fund a STEM project. Shown from left to right are: (front row) Shana Vincent, STEM instructor; Ernie Peterson, general manager in Kentucky with TVA; Bo Matthews, superintendent of Barren County schools; Billy Ray, superintendent of Glasgow Electric Plant Board; Amy Hall, administrative manager for GEPB; Terryn Varney, communications manager for GEPB; (back row) Anthony Frazier, director of pupil personnel for Barren County schools; Kathy Burris, director of elementary instruction for Barren County schools; and Joe Murley, director of finance for Barren County schools.

GLASGOW — Red Cross Elementary has been awarded a $5,000 grant to fund the purchase of robotic kits and iPads for use in the school’s STEM lab.

STEM is an acronym for science, technology, education and math.

“A large majority of this will be showing how we learn coding, and so coding has always been a key component to the STEM classroom,” said Shana Vincent, STEM instructor. “With the addition of robotics, it will expand our students’ skills with a hands-on approach and so it really has a chance to change their future lives and careers through coding and through STEM class.”

The grant is part of $600,000 in competitive STEM grants awarded to 142 schools across TVA’s service territory. The competitive grant program provided teachers an opportunity to apply for funding up to $5,000 and preference was given to grant applications that explored TVA’s primary areas of focus: environment, energy, economic and career development and community problem solving, said a TVA press release.

“TVA serves about 10 million people across seven states and there were about 300 applications and about 142 awarded,” said Tim Hughes, program manager for TVA. “This was competitive. It clearly demonstrates the quality of your application and of your project. We congratulate you on that.”

Schools that receive grant fundings must receive their power from a TVA distributor, and in this case Red Cross receives its power from the Glasgow Electric Plant Board, the press release said.

On hand for the check presentation was William Ray, superintendent of GEPB.

“We are happy to partner with TVA and get to support STEM and STEM programs because that’s where the future of our organizations come from is kids who are studying STEM curriculum,” Ray said.

Michael Davis, school principal, thanked everyone for turning out for the check presentation and Vincent for pursuing the grant.

“She does a fantastic job each and every day with our students, supporting STEM, supporting STEM education and coding,” he said. “We are so thankful for the work she has and for the vision she has for our students. Thank you Shana for the work you do.”

Davis also thanked TVA for the grant and said the money will be put to good use.

“I know our students are always excited to put things into motion. This will be hands-on learning for them in the area of STEM, so thank you all for that support. And obviously to our Board of Education, thank you all for your support and to the EPB being here as well. I just thank you all for what you do for our community,” he said.

Davis continued that Red Cross Elementary wants to promote STEM as the culture of its school and making sure students have opportunities to persevere and to work together in different settings.

“We know this will go right toward that,” he said. “This $5,000 check will definitely support us for years to come so we appreciate what you all do for us.”

Bo Matthews, superintendent of Barren County schools, said he was thrilled for the students and staff at Red Cross Elementary.

He also praised Vincent for her efforts in securing the grant for the school.

“This part of the DNA of this school and certainly these funds will be stretched to provide even more opportunities for their students,” he said. “We are just so thrilled that the community partnerships that exist to make things like this happen.”

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