AEE awards $145,000 in grants to Tupelo teachers

TUPELO – The Tupelo Public School District Board of Trustees on Tuesday approved $145,087.40 in teacher grants from the Association for Excellence in Education.
Since the founding of the private education advocacy group in 1983, “AEE has always encouraged our teachers to be innovative and creative,” Superintendent Randy McCoy said at the AEE luncheon last week. “There’s not enough words to say thank you to AEE.”
AEE grants – more than $2.5 million to date – come from the organization’s 500 individual and corporate members. This year, 42 small grants in the amount of $48,945.63 and 73 large grants worth $495,051.51 were submitted for consideration.
The AEE executive board approved just a portion of those, with recipients earning official approval from the TPSD Board of Trustees this week.
On the final list were 20 large grants worth $132,800.01 and 11 small grants totaling $12,287.39. The money is well spent, said Lawndale Elementary School teacher Sally Amos.
Along with Diane Hink, she was among dozens of Tupelo teachers highlighting their grant-funded projects during last week’s AEE luncheon.
“Without funding from AEE, our sixth-graders would not have had the opportunity to nurture their leadership skills,” Amos said, noting the $3,387.75 AEE grant she and Hink received last spring allowed them to expand the Leadership Academy started by other teachers in 2007. It, too, was funded by AEE.
“The AEE money affords us the opportunity to take the students on charter buses to Jackson and watch the legislature in session,” Amos said.
Also at the luncheon, second-grade teachers Carmon Dye, Emily Carodine, Jessica Click and Shannon Edwards showed off things AEE has funded at Rankin Elementary School.
In Culture Shock!, “We talked about Japan, China and Mexico and we discussed how some of our traditions are from other cultures,” Dye said. “The grant included lots of hands-on manipulatives, and all of it can be reused” by other classes.
“It’s such an asset to our community to have these extra dollars,” she said. “This community is very lucky to have an organization like AEE.”
Contact Ginny Miller at (662) 678-1582 or

Ginny Miller/NEMS Daily Journal

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