Runnymede Elementary School first-grade teacher Beth Chaney was the recipient of a $500 grant from Baltimore Gas and Electric Co.
The grant came from BGE’s Bright Ideas Teachers’ Grants program, which supports teachers working to expand innovative ideas for academic enhancement and workforce development in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
“It’s all about innovation and bright ideas, and providing technology to kids who don't have access to it at home,” Chaney told the Times Tuesday. “Because we are a lower-income school, a lot of these kids don't get technology at home.
“So,” she said, “I won the grant and I'm getting a touch-screen projector for the classroom. Basically it makes the wall a touch screen for their phonics games and math activities, fact practice … adding movement for those kiddos that need it — and they’re still learning while they’re doing it, so learning is fun.”
K-12 classroom teachers at schools located within BGE’s service area are eligible to apply for the grants, which award up to $500 to support in-classroom projects that support science, innovation, energy efficiency, or the environment.
“I am very proud of Mrs. Chaney for taking the initiative to pursue this wonderful opportunity for her students,” Runnymede Principal Martin Tierney said in a media release last week.
Chaney, a Taneytown resident, has been teaching at Runnymede for 10 years, and before that was a teacher at Taneytown Elementary School.
She said a grant like that which BGE offers is critical because money for technology is rare, and that she gives kudos to the company for offering such a helpful program.
“It’s huge,” said Chaney, “because there aren't other ways for teachers to get it. It’s huge because these kids in the classroom now will be exposed to things they wouldn’t be exposed to at home.
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“A lot of them don't even have a tablet or anything,” she said. “There’s technology standards they have to meet by 5th grade, so it’s good because they’re getting a head start in first grade with technology — using the mouse, touch screen, and logging in.”