Teacher gets a big surprise
Monday, 25 February 2008 19:00
By STEVE CAMPBELL - Times Staff Writer
Rebecca Campbell gets grant fundsto buy program
Rebecca Campbell had planned to buy a money management learning program for her students. Thanks to a surprise grant, the money to buy the program won't come from her pocket.
The prize patrol helped Campbell and 39 other teachers in Madison County with more than $17,000 in grants from the Boeing Math & Science Grant program.
The grants, distributed Monday by school officials, board members and The Schools Foundation board of directors, range to $500 and help teachers buy materials to teach practical math and science skills.
But like many surprises, Campbell's started a bit uncomfortably.
Just before 11 a.m., she received a call from Lincoln Elementary School, where she teaches some classes. Get to the school immediately, she was told.
Campbell hurried to the school's main office, turned right into a small meeting room, and laughed.
Huntsville board members Alta Morrison, Topper Birney and foundation officials presented Campbell with balloons and a $325 check.
"I was so relieved it wasn't something bad," she said later. "I thought it was an emergency."
Campbell, who teaches gifted students in grades 2-5, plans to buy a kit from the "Menu Math" program, where kids use play money to buy from a menu, make correct change, and budget their cash.
"They'll get to do real-life math," she said.
The kits come in handy when students complete their regular class work, Campbell said. Rather than disrupt other students, they can then go straight to Menu Math.
Campbell has purchased similar kits that keep kids busy. She likes them because they're practical.
"It's great because I know they're meeting an objective," Campbell said. "They're not wasting time."
The science kits come in several topics, including the study of planets and stars.
More than 60 teachers in the county's three school systems applied for the grants. The money will help teachers afford kits that teach math and science - skills demanded by top employers everywhere.
"This is just one small way to help," said Volker Roth, board member for the foundation, which supports schools in school systems. He said the American children need stronger grounding in the subjects.
The foundation's director, Debbie Beaupre, said many Alabama children leave school with a poor sense of money management.
"We're graduating kids today with debt," she said. Those students, she said, hurt themselves financially by making large purchases on credit.
With the help of Menu Math, Campbell hopes her students learn to avoid those money troubles.