VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - Brenda Gaddy can now afford to buy four or five more iPads to use in her classroom and protective cases for the iPads thanks to Colquitt EMC.
"This means more technology in our classroom, being able to enhance our learning and really raise our student achievement," Gaddy said, after she calmed down from the excited jumping and cheering she did when she was surprised with the grant check in her classroom Thursday morning.
The grant is part of Colquitt EMC's "Bright Ideas" grant program, where teachers submit an idea to enhance learning in their classroom. The ideas are judged by a group of former teachers and then the winners are given a grant for the amount of money they requested, up to $1,000.
"It just warms your heart. You're so excited for them to be able to share that idea," said Joni Fox, Colquitt EMC Marketing and Member Services Coordinator, after the check presentation.
"My heart is here for you. I knew what would make you happy and i wrote this for you," Gaddy told her students as she explained why she applied for the grant.
Cisco Diaz is the school's principal and he said he, too, is excited about Gaddy winning the grant. "I'm excited for her, I'm excited for the kids, and I'm just excited that we have a community partner out there willing to offer us this grant," Diaz said.
He said the grant also speaks highly about the quality of education at the school.
"It just says that we have a lot of teachers that are go-getters, that look for additional ways to fund their classrooms so they can provide great instructional strategies to our kids," said Diaz.
Five other teachers in Colquitt EMC's seven county service area will also be receiving grants. The money for the grants comes from state unclaimed capital credits allowed by state legislation to be used for education in the communities Colquitt EMC serves.