Ten area classrooms will now be enhanced with an extra $500 thanks to grants from Egyptian Electric Cooperative Association (EECA). For many years, EECA has offered the Touchstone Energy Classroom Empowerment Grants to local schools within its service territory, and this year, it increased the number of recipients from eight to 10.

“We continue to be aware that adequate funding for many school systems has been a challenge,” EECA General Manager Shane Hermetz says. “Commitment to Community is one of our Touchstone Energy core principles, and we are committed to the communities we serve and want to invest in the education of our youth.”

The top 10 projects that have been awarded the $500 grants to fund or assist classroom projects include:

  • Interactive Tools for Increased Student Engagement – Samantha Holcomb of St. Andrew School in Murphysboro
  • Arduino Kits for Learning – Shelly Avery, science department chair, Carterville High School
  • Light Table for Sensory Room – Carla Vaca Dietz and Anne Kaszubski, kindergarten and first grade teachers at Parrish School in Carbondale
  • Quail Production – Dustin Sievers, ag teacher, Elverado High School in Elkville
  • Chromebooks for STEM Education – Kim Kraatz, Carterville Jr. High School
  • Focused & Engaged Learning – Dawn Seward, special education teacher, Carbondale Middle School
  • Community Classroom Projector – Matthew Foster, administrator of Christ Our Savior Lutheran High School in Evansville
  • Classroom Audio System – Kimberly Dillow, fifth grade teacher, Giant City School in Carbondale
  • Quilted Math – Elizabeth Grandt, instructor at Murphysboro Middle School
  • Tiered Grow Light – Kendra Bower, third grade teacher at Carruthers Elementary in Murphysboro

The Classroom Empowerment Grants were offered and awarded to teachers or school administrators of public and private K-12 schools to help with projects that will improve educational opportunities for students. An impartial panel of judges evaluated the applications based on the projects that best serve the purpose of improving the learning environment and/or increasing educational resources for the school.

“On behalf of Egyptian Electric, I want to thank all of the educators who went the extra mile to apply for these grants and congratulate all the recipients,” Hermetz says. “We know these funds will be put to good use, and we look forward to offering these grants for years to come.”

Egyptian Electric Cooperative is a member of Touchstone Energy – an alliance of 750 local, consumer-owned electric utilities around the country. Egyptian Electric is committed to providing superior service based on four core principles: integrity, accountability, innovation and commitment to community. The co-op serves more than 15,000 meters over 1,987 miles of line in Jackson, Perry, Randolph, St. Clair, Washington and Williamson counties, and parts of Franklin, Johnson, Monroe and Union counties. For more information visit eeca.coop.

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Photo Caption:
Kimberly Dillow and her fifth-grade class of Giant City School in Carbondale was one of 10 recipients of the $500 Touchstone Energy Classroom Grant. The funds will go toward their Classroom Audio System project.