OGDENSBURG — Angela Weston, a sixth-grade teacher at Grant C. Madill Elementary School, was one of 40 teachers in New York state to be awarded with a State Farm Teacher Assist grant.
State Farm Teacher Assist grants, in the amount of $2,500, are awarded to teachers who are showing innovation in creating and developing new methods and approaches to teaching during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The company offered the grant in four states, and teachers were able to apply through an online form. The 40 winning teachers from each of the four states were chosen by the State Farm Review Committee.
“As a company, we have a long history of working with teachers, educators, and students across the country,” State Farm Senior Vice President Annette Martinez said in a prepared statement. “We are proud to support you and help you reach your goals.”
The form opened Jan. 11 and closed four days later, or once 200 submissions were received. In New York state, 200 submissions were received within 12 hours.
The project Mrs. Weston submitted was for funds for innovations lab, which is a lab she started slowly over the past 10 months.
“It’s a science lab that contains material for the eight essential technologies, which includes drones, robotics, 3D printing, engineering and design, circuitry, amongst other things,” she said.
Mrs. Weston will be using the grant to purchase materials for the kindergarten through sixth grade innovations lab. She noted that with the extra funding she has received, she can now provide materials for each student no matter where they are learning from.
“Our students are engaging in project based learning but the challenge that began with COVID was we no longer had enough materials for each individual student because we usually work with partners or in teams,” Mrs. Weston said. “I kind of devoted this year to applying for grants to make sure we had enough materials so every student could work in a hands-on way whether they’re at home, in school or doing the hybrid model.”
For students who are learning remotely, Mrs. Weston has set up a drop off and pick up system for supplies and materials. She’s hopeful her project will encourage students to enjoy learning.
“For this year particularly it really gives students a reason to want to come to school and participate in school because it’s something not directly related to zoom meetings,” Mrs. Weston said. “It’s been highly motivating for students in this environment.”