Rutherford County Schools More Advanced

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The Rutherford County School system aims to bring more business into the local schools. Part of that goal brings with it more technology to better prepare students for the future. Technological advances in the Rutherford County Schools equals more opportunity for advancement after graduation.

Schools spokesperson James Evans told WGNS NEWS...



Rutherford County Schools have advanced quickly thanks to partnerships with MTSU, Nissan and the Business Education Partnership under the Chamber of Commerce.

(MORE) Nissan, Business Education Partnership
award 43 minigrants to teachers for innovative classroom projects


By JAMES EVANS
Rutherford County Schools

Melody Todd has a successful history of winning minigrants from the Nissan / Business Education Partnership program.

She estimates she has won at least 15 in the past, and earlier this week, she won two more for classroom projects that encourage students to get hands-on.

Todd, a fourth-grade teacher at Stewarts Creek Elementary School, was one of 11 teachers from the school who won a grant through the program for next semester. Stewarts Creek won more than any other school, with 13 grants, out of more than 40 that were awarded to various schools.

Using one of her grants, Todd will work with students on a project called "Tulane STEM Techs," which will use the book "The Miraculous Journey of Edward Toulane."

"I always tie-in a bazillion (English Language Arts) skills with it and get my kids really involved with the book and encourage that level of reading," Todd said. "And then we do STEM projects throughout and bring in science, technology, tons of math -- as much cross-curricular as I can possibly do."

Twice each year, Nissan and the Business Education Partnership accept applications from teachers who want to offer a special program for students. The projects are intended to foster creativity and excitement, to help cultivate fun learning activities for students.

When asked the secret to grant success at Stewarts Creek, Principal Tina Turner said it's all about collaboration.

Knowing Todd's history of winning multiple grants in the past, Turner formed a grant-writing committee and put Todd in charge of it.

"She was winning year after year and so I told her, 'Here's what we're going to do,'" Turner said , "'We're going to have a committee and you're going to be the head of it because you know how to get this done.'"

The committee meets throughout the year to brainstorm ideas and the teachers apply for all kinds of grants, not only those offered by the Business Education Partnership, Todd said.

"We always meet together in the computer lab and I try to encourage someone to come up with an idea, and then we can just build from there," Todd said.

She encourages her fellow teachers to make the proposed projects interactive and to include as many academic subjects as possible.

"Just touch on as many aspects as you can," Todd advised. "Get students involved. "

The Business Education Partnership and Nissan have been offering the mini-grant program since 1988. Multiple students throughout the county have been impacted by the program, BEP Executive Director Amelia Bozeman said.

"Nissan's support has sown seeds of knowledge, inspiring many thousands of students over the years through these mini-grant awards," Bozeman said.

For the spring semester, more than 90 proposals were submitted by teachers with Rutherford County Schools and Murfreesboro City Schools.

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