In 2018, Leaders introduced its first grant program, The L.E.A.D.S. Educator Grant. LEADS is designed to assist educators who promote initiatives that help students Learn, Experience, Advocate, Dream and Serve. Through our LEADS Educator Grant Program, West Tennessee educators are eligible to enter for an opportunity to win a $1,000!
Leaders was founded by five Jackson educators 61 years ago. Because of our rich history, we take pride in championing our West Tennessee educators who are leading the way. Traditionally, we have invested thousands of dollars in personal teacher gifts to say “thank you” for your tireless efforts. This year, our goal is to make a lasting investment in the future of our children, schools, administrators, and educators.
Whether it’s a new set of books, a new STEM or STEAM initiative, a school-wide project, a new learning center or maker-space, or other exciting educational opportunity, we are here to help champion these initiatives.
Our inaugural program was a success! Grant proposals ranged from funds for an outdoor classroom, improvements to a special education classroom, lab equipment, a volunteer basketball program, and assistance to visit the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. Grant submissions included a short video explaining the need and use of the grant money. Twenty-three proposals were submitted, and the top ten winners were chosen by the community via social media voting. L.E.A.D.S. Grant submissions videos were viewed over 82,000 times during the voting period. Winners include:
Colette Carrabba, Chester County Junior High School
Renee Nelson, Milan Middle School
Barbara Orr, Hillcrest Elementary
Dr. Charlene Wooldridge, Fayette Ware Comprehensive High School
Angie Conley & Julia Adams, Crockett County Middle School
Joy Heath, Appling Middle and Elmore Park Middle Schools
Paige Melville, Trenton Elementary School
Veronica Shelton, Decatur County Middle School
Vanesa Dawkins, Nova Early Learning Center
Dr. Callie Dollar, Community Montessori School
In addition to the ten, $1,000 grants awarded, Leaders is also honored to award $1,000 towards graphing calculators for the classroom of Mr. Jeffrey Lewis, who passed away in August of this year. Lewis submitted his L.E.A.D.S. grant proposal for graphing calculators for his Chester County High School students before he passed away.