New Kent schools awarded grants

•NKMS Jazz Band ($500): Band Director Greg Wrenn will establish a jazz band program at NKMS and purchase sheet music for the ensemble.

Lego Robotics Club ($390): Lego Robotics Club leaders Anthony Massimini and Dana Studdard will receive eight Free Build Buckets of Legos for the 36 students in the club to make sure that every student can participate in meetings.

The Lego Robotics Club, which focuses on 6th-8th grade math, science, and engineering, helps students problem solve and think outside the box, integrate technology to complete building videos, and develop teamwork skills.

New Kent High School grants:

•Supplies for Chemistry Classroom ($793): Chemistry teacher Suzanne McIninch will receive a vacuum pump and distillation set up for upper level chemistry classes.

A vacuum pump is used to demonstrate various changes in gases with increase and decreasing pressure, as well as compressibility. A distillation apparatus demonstrates the boiling points of certain liquids, and purification - all of which are concepts discussed in the chemistry SOLs.

•Reading Across the Curriculum ($92.67): Candice Barkley, as well as all other mathematics teachers, will have access to new fiction novels (at the media center) with a math theme. Math students would get extra credit for reading these novels and completing a worksheet, created by media specialist, Tracey McKinney.

The project is designed to give the math teachers a means to support the school-wide literacy emphasis.

•NKHS Science Department ($332.50): Science teacher John Spiak will receive items for the earth science and ecology classes, which have been lacking hands-on labs.

The earth science classes will receive two pocket wind meters and one sun finder, while the ecology classes will receive 20 informational packets on common native trees in Virginia.

•Vegetable/Herb Garden Plot ($772.20): Tom Watson's horticulture classes will build 12 raised beds, as well as plant and maintain a garden. If the class produces a "reasonable crop," the fresh produce will be donated to the local food bank and/or supply fresh vegetables to the cafeteria.

•Digitizing Photography I ($750): Art and photography teacher Sarah Revell will receive a high quality digital SLR 35mm camera. Students, who are now required to bring a digital 35mm SLR to class, will have one in class to learn from.

•Tchouckball for All ($500): Irene Bierie, of the Health and Physical Education department, will implement "Tchouckball for All," an intervention program for every student, no matter their athletic ability.

Tchouckball is a Swedish invented game with no guarding, blocking, or interceptions, so it prevents intimidation, and allows kids to become more involved in the game.

To date, the NKEF has donated nearly $300,000 directly to New Kent County Public Schools, continues to administer three scholarships to deserving high school seniors every year, and financially supports the school's performing arts programs.

"The New Kent community has been so generous in supporting the Foundation, and we hope that we are able to continue funding these types of projects with the community's support," Lindsay said.

The New Kent Education Foundation gets its money through fundraising and community contribution. Its mission is to "channel the community's resources to promote and enhance educational opportunities for the students and staff of New Kent Schools."

Martin can be reached by phone at 804-885-0040.