New Kent schools awarded grants

•Behavior Management Program ($500): Suzanne Cashin will be responsible for this project, open to third and fourth grade special education students.

Cashin will motivate students to exhibit a more positive behavior when they come to school, develop a sense of responsibility, encourage student work, facilitate classroom management, and improve math/money skills by using a reward system.

Students will receive "money" for good behavior and completing tasks so they can buy items from a classroom store. Each item has a price tag and students are encouraged to count and save their money. Money can also be taken away for not completing tasks or misbehaving. The students will understand that going to school is their job and they will be paid for doing a good job.

•E-Books ($500): According to Librarian Michelle Prough, using an "ebook" format will allow staff to bring text from a digitized book onto a large screen via interactive board technology.

The project will purchase 30-40 nonfiction reviewed and acclaimed ebooks.

•Mice or Mouse Devices ($143.92): Lauren Birkhead, along with all preschool teachers, paraprofessionals, and therapists working with preschoolers with special needs will work with eight specialized mouse devices on student computers.

These devices are smaller in size, as to fit a preschooler's hand, and only have one button.

George W. Watkins Elementary School grants:

•Large Easels for Implementation of New Programs ($1,191.24): Melissa Ellis-Johnson, along with fellow Kindergarten teachers Laura Williams, Michelle Cottrell, Heidi Schneider, Stephanie Mohr, and Samantha Sartain, have recently implemented several programs, such as Daily Five, Wilson Fundations, 6+1 Writing Trails, and Morning Message that require the use of large easels and chart tables. However, the current easels and chart tables are too small and lack sturdiness.

The kindergarten teachers will write information on the six chart tables in front of students and have students write on the charts as well. The large easels and chart tables will be more effective than the white boards because they allow students to refer back to information and can be seen around the room.

•Listening to Learn ($65.70): First grade teacher Andrea Howard will receive six sets of headphones, which will give students more time to listen to reading, especially through programs and online. Using headphones will help students focus on their own stories and work independently.

•Reading Express ($749): Heather Picone, as well as all the GWES fourth grade teachers, will receive a year membership for the online reading program, designed to build reading comprehension skills using games, e-books, lessons, quizzes, etc.

•Close Reading: Take a Closer Look ($631.40): Reading Specialist Angela Sanders and Assistant Principal Patricia Kern will organize and facilitate a book study for K-5 teachers that focuses on close reading strategies with both non-fiction and fiction texts.

Teachers will learn about close reading - when the student analyzes any given text at the word, phrase, paragraph, and section level to determine the most important details and how they fit together to convey the author's central ideas.

New Kent Middle School grants:

•The Spine Crackers: A Grade-Wide Reading Book Club Initiative ($545.05): Sixth grade Social Studies teacher Lindsay Horne will "extend [her] students' love of literature and reading beyond the classroom walls and allow them to meet with their peers who share their passion" - with the 6th grade book club, for the ninth year in a row.

The book club will purchase current literature, including "Virginia Young Readers Books for 2013-2014" and other novels chosen by Horne.

•Pen & Ink Whimsical Trees and Pen & Ink Watercolor Mixed Media Animal Studies ($454): Art teacher Emma Florek will introduce the 8th grade advanced art students to watercolor painting and pen and ink drawing. These two separate lessons will help incorporate 8th and 9th grade VA fine arts SOLs and create a portfolio to reference in high school art classes.

•Algebra I for Va. End of Course Algebra I ($485.51): Algebra I teachers Eleanor Edwards-Martin and Nicole White will get support materials to bridge the gap for some learners and increase the achievement of all Algebra I students.

•Math 8 SOL Coach Books and ActivSlate60 ($350): Math teacher Nicole White, as well as Cynthia Parking, will use the Math 8 SOL Coach for remediation and SOL review. The teachers will also use the ActivSlate60 to take notes and project work onto the Promethean board.