published Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Cleveland/Bradley County Teacher minigrant program growing

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CLEVELAND, Tenn. — Teachers have embraced the Cleveland/Bradley Public Education Foundation's minigrant program, according to the foundation.

Sixteen grants were awarded for the current school year to city school applicants, and another 38 were granted to Bradley County schools. The county system is about twice as large as the city's.

"Each year we see more teachers getting involved. They understand we are here and what we can provide for them, so we see a lot of repeats. That's good," said Rebecca McIntyre, executive committee president. "We have also seen a tremendous increase in the quality of the requests, and that is gratifying, as well."

Teachers can apply for minigrants each year of up to $1,000 each, although many grants are smaller. They use the money to provide extra projects and programs for their classes.

An updated website gives teachers and donors up-to-date information, McIntyre said.

Each month, the city school board visits one of its schools to see how the programs are working, board member Dawn Robinson said.

"Principals take us to their classrooms to make us aware of programs going on," she said. "It never fails that they say, 'This is a grant the teacher received from the foundation.'"

At Cleveland schools' annual awards ceremony, hearing teachers describe their minigrant-funded projects is a highlight, school board member Peggy Pesterfield said.

This year, the award recognition will be May 3 from 5 to 7 p.m. The location has not been announced.

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