PROVIDENCE – More than 150 educators, among them many elementary school teachers, in 23 Rhode Island cities and towns will share $153,000 in grants encouraging classroom innovation through the Carter Spark Grants initiative, according to a Monday announcement by the Rhode Island Foundation.
Now five years old, the Carter Spark Grants initiative was launched by the late John Carter and his wide Letitia in 2013 to fund $1,000 grants to third- and fourth-grade teachers at public and public charter schools allowing for further student academic engagement through “unique experiences and creative learning methods,” according to the release.
“Our goal is to give teachers the resources to put more youngsters on the road to a lifetime of academic success,” said Carter.
Eligible activities include field trips, equipment purchases and other acquisitions that would not be readily found in the classroom. Spark Grants are designed as single-use funds and cannot provide ongoing money to sustain projects.
Among the schools to receive Carter Spark Grants include Lincoln Central Elementary in Lincoln, Agnes B. Hennessey Elementary in East Providence and Highlander Charter in Providence.
Third-grade Lincoln Central teacher Jeffrey Drolet received $986 to purchase scientific materials for his “Science is Cool! The Central AC Project” in which students will work collaboratively to design, build, test and improve a functioning cooling system.
Hennessey Elementary’s Ashley Jamieson was awarded $973 to promote next generation science standards through classroom robotics instruction and a field trip to the Boston Science Museum.
An $801 grant to third-grade Highlander Charter instructor Lindsay Robinson will be used to fund a field trip to the Museum of Natural History and Planetarium at Roger Williams Park in Providence and engage students in the study of the solar system.
Neil D. Steinberg, president and CEO of the foundation, said in a statement the program is “promoting change through leadership.”
His remarks went on to say: “Thanks to [the Carter family] foresight, teachers all over Rhode Island have an exceptional opportunity to be innovative.”
Schools in Bristol, Burrillville, Central Falls, Charlestown, Cranston, Cumberland, East Greenwich, Exeter, Narragansett, Newport, North Providence, Pawtucket, Portsmouth, Scituate, Smithfield, South Kingstown, Warren, Warwick, Westerly and Woonsocket also received grants.