OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Some Ocean Springs teachers will be getting some extra money to spend on innovative classroom projects. On Tuesday night, the Ocean Springs Education Foundation revealed the names of teachers who will be receiving grant money.
Out of nearly 100 teachers who applied for the grants this years, 34 projects were chosen. The money supports teachers who tend to think "out of the box."
Caroline Knight's students are learning about the Code of Conduct during the Renaissance period. They're even learning how ladies and gentlemen dance the Waltz.
"We are going to teach all the children in our school to waltz. We're going to host a ball and celebrate, making a positive mark at Oak Park," said Knight.
This year, Knight launched a program at Oak Park Elementary School called "Magic of Manners, Modeling, and Make Believe." It promotes doing good deeds and building positive character traits.
Knight can now enhance her innovative program. She is getting a share of $30,000 in grants from the Ocean Springs Education Foundation.
"We want to build an area in the library that have books specifically geared to anti bullying and self esteem," said Knight. "Each grade creates a self portrait at the beginning and end of the year, and we're purchasing mirrors so that the children can get a better reflection of who are they are. In addition to that, we want to use copper wire to create hanging mobiles in our reading tree."
Thirty-two other teachers in the Ocean Springs School District will receive the grants, ranging from $100 to several thousand dollars.
"We've had teachers use the grant money to purchase animals, fish, corals, things that would really spark their students' interest in the classroom," said Nell Driggers, a board member of the Ocean Springs Education Foundation. "The grants that we've funded tonight are really spectacular, and we're really excited about seeing them being implemented."
"The OSEF Foundation is amazing, because when teachers have ideas that we'd like to share with our students, they help fund those ideas. They help make it come to fruition, and they help make good things happen," said Knight.
"One of the things we saw a good bit of here is really teachers taking advantage of the wonderful community that we live in and the environment that we have here on the Gulf Coast. They're really using the out of doors as an extension of their classroom. One of the things that we're seeing is teachers being really interested in putting technology into the hands of students," said Driggers.
The foundation has awarded more $200,000 in grants since 1993.