SNELLVILLE – Brookwood Elementary School teacher Sharon Smith is one of 15 nationwide finalists vying for six $100,000 educational grants and she needs your help to win.
Smith’s proposal to improve math and language arts standards through experiential learning with an entrepreneurial focus went through a competitive review process. The proposal was selected to move on to the public voting phase of the Dream Big Teacher Challenge.
With the $100,000 grant, Smith said she would implement a tuition-free after-school program for the lowest achieving 10 percent of third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students at Brookwood and Meadowcreek elementary schools.
This program would provide remediation on the students’ weakest math and language arts standards by providing a real-life application of their skills to construct a community garden and maintain an aquaponics system. Through this interactive learning experience, students would learn about entrepreneurship, apply and interview for garden jobs and sell produce at a local farmer’s market.
To vote for Smith’s proposal, visit ThankAmericasTeachers.com. The public can vote for any of the 15 teacher proposals, but a person can only vote once for the same teacher proposal per day. Winners of the grants will be announced in December to those proposals with the highest vote count across the country.
“Winning the Farmers Insurance Thank America's Teacher $100,000.00 grant would truly be a life changer for academically at risk students at Brookwood Elementary and Meadowcreek Elementary,” Smith said. “This tuition-free, innovative intervention would help strengthen students' weakest math and literacy standards through explicit instruction that would be applied to the building and maintaining of a community garden and aquaponics system. Students would also learn about entrepreneurship as they realized jobs that needed to be filled, completed job applications and interviewed for these jobs. As a result of this grant, we would be providing engaging intervention that feels more like enrichment and is one of a kind."