WILLIAMSBURG-JAMES CITY COUNTY — Teachers for the Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools (WJCC) school district are eligible for a grant to put towards innovative learning in their classrooms.
The grant, which is offered by the WJCC Schools Foundation, is for teachers in PreK-12th grade who are faculty within the school system.
Since its founding in 2015, WJCC Schools Foundation has provided 140 grants totaling around $221,000 to 248 teachers of all grade levels in WJCC. The Foundation notes that just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was able to double the amount of the grant from $2,000 to its current $4,000 amount.
Penny Pulley, chairperson for the WJCC Schools Foundation, notes that funding for these grants are provided through organizations like Kiwanis, businesses including TowneBank and Ferguson, as well as “forward-thinking individual citizens.”
When schools abruptly shut down in March 2020 as a result of the pandemic, the Foundation was able to provide the division with $20,000 to fulfill a need for students to have access to laptops as well as Wi-Fi hotspots to continue learning in the virtual environment.
“Our future is in the hands of these students so it is in our best inerest to provide educational enrichment,” said Pulley.
This grant allows for teachers to continue to teach in an innovative fashion, regardless of what challenges they may face.
Last year, Kris Van Deusen, a teacher at Matthew Whaley Elementary, wanted to teach his students about drones, including how to operate them using technical skills such as coding, aviation terminology, as well as the underlying mechanics involved with these devices. The grant allowed for the students to engage with drones in order to learn more about this innovative technology.
“I find it most satisfying to know that many of these grants are used from year to year, and teachers have the opportunity to implement exciting ideas without having to dig into their own pockets,” said Pulley.
The deadline for teachers to apply for this grant is January 31, with the awards scheduled to be handed out this March. For more information, teachers can visit the website for the WJCC Schools Foundation.