By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – As Saltillo High School teacher Greg Davis led his Algebra 1 students through a series of math problems on Thursday morning, he was able to walk among them.
Two years ago, Davis received an Interwrite Mobi Quick, a mobile pad that projects what he writes to a screen in the front of his classroom. It allows Davis to stroll through the room while also writing on the board, a skill that helps him better interact with his students, he said.
“This allows me to be with the students instead of being stuck at the computer on my desk or at the board when I want to put something on the screen,” he said. “When you turn your back on the students, they know it.”
The device was funded by ExPECT, an organization that funds grants to allow Lee County School District teachers to purchase classroom supplies that would not otherwise be available. ExPECT is short for Exceptional Progress in Education through Curriculum and Technology.
The organization will fund 28 more grants this year, totaling $27,116. It recognized those recipients Thursday during a ceremony at the Lee County School District Central Office.
“The teachers are appreciative of the things ExPECT does.” said Lee County Superintendent Jimmy Weeks.
Davis received another grant this year, getting a different device that will allow him to also operate his interactive projector while moving in the classroom.
“I’m really grateful to ExPECT,” he said. “These things really change the classroom and help the students.”
Other winning grants included projectors, computers, digital books, a human skeleton and sharks for dissection, among other things.
“You can only do so many fundraisers, so this is a really good resource for us,” said Mooreville Elementary School teacher Erin Watson, who received a grant.
Mooreville Middle School teacher Carol Rupert, who received her fourth grant this year, said ExPECT has had a huge impact on her classroom.
ExPECT President Staci Bevill said the organization received 56 grant requests this year. Its funding comes from members and fundraisers and from the United Way.
“We’ve seen over the last couple of years most of our grant requests involve technology,” Bevill said.
2012-13 ExPECT grant winners
Guntown: Bonnie Hanna – Elmo printer, Penny Kelly – display rail for art, Adrienne Simmons – laptop; Lee County Improvement Center: Janet Stamm – DVD player and DVD series for science; Mooreville Elem: Erin Watson – subscription to BrainPop; Mooreville Middle: Emily Rupert – life-size skeleton, Peggy Hussey – sharks for dissection, Jennifer Tharp – Promethean projector; Plantersville: Melissa Clemmer – two laptops, Laura Porter – computer station; Saltillo Elementary: Anna McCarley – language bulletin boards, Jill Rooney – 12 Nooks and books, Wendy Roncalli – 10 Nooks; Saltillo High: Greg Davis – digital tablet for Promethean board; Saltillo Primary: Hilary Crawford – learning centers; Shannon Elementary: Joy Lucius, Kathy Waycaster & Ida Brand – Story Connection – author Dianne de LasCasas, Robin Newwell – laptop & projector; Shannon High: Robin Haygood – printer, Amy Haygood, Pamela Rayburn & Kathy Pippin – Actiview document camera; Jennifer King – graphic novel sets; Shannon Primary: Sarah Burrell – decodable readers; Verona: Taffie Ray – Mimivote; Linda Turner – Elmo & projector; Alice Maynard – math center & manipulatives; Margaret Parker – Edmark Reading software and print form; Cassandra Hodge – Edmark Reading software and print form. Lee County School District: Gena Yarbrough – mats for Gum Tree art show.