Natchez schools get IP grants

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 13, 1999

Natchez students will be cooking, learning music and involving parents in education thanks to grants from the International Paper Company Foundation.

The foundation awarded a total of $12,000 in four grants to West Primary and McLaurin Elementary schools as part of EDCORE (Education and Community Resources), a competitive nationwide grant program.

&uot;As we have moved to a more global economy, nothing can be more important than improving public education,&uot;&160;said Steve Olsen, mill manager of International Paper’s Natchez Mill.

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&uot;The significance of our EDCORE program is that its mission does just that; helps support public elementary and secondary education in International Paper communities.&uot;

The largest of the four local grants, $9,000 to West Primary School, will continue a program that was also funded by the foundation last year.

The grant was written by Pam Hilton, a teacher at West and is entitled, New Beginnings II.

The grant is a school-wide grant that is designed to help parents learn how to help their children in school.

&uot;(The grant) tries to get parents involved with their children’s education,&uot;&160;said West Principal Kate Cole. &uot;It just kind of helps them see the way children learn.&uot;

Activities funded by the grant include evening Family Fun Nights that provide hands-on activities for parents and children. The next family night is Sept. 28.

West Primary also received two other grants both worth $1,000. Teachers Tina Rollins and Joan David wrote a grant entitled, Cooking to Learn and Bobbye&160;Winn, a music teacher, received a grant entitled Integrated Learning Through the Arts.

Cole said the school plans to purchase cooking supplies and a cart to carry the items with the first of these grants.

These supplies can be integrated throughout the curriculum to teach things like math or measurements and vocabulary, Cole said.

And students can also learn social studies, with the supplies, by trying out food from different countries, she added.

The school plans to use the art grant to purchase new portable microphones or additional music.

&uot;We use that equipment a lot and it gets worn,&uot; Cole said.

The foundation offers these grants to 50 school district in communities where a number of International Paper employees live. The submitted grant applications must be teacher-generated.

The final $1,000 grant was awarded to Debra Powell, a teacher at McLaurin.

Her grant, entitled Teach Through the Eyes of a Child, will focus on second-graders.

It is designed to help students become literate, contributing members of society.