Elkins Rotary presents grants to educators

ELKINS – Members of the Elkins Rotary Club celebrated with teachers from local schools and libraries Monday as the club announced and presented $5,500 in funds to support community projects.

Grant committee members Pat Schoonover and Merllene Yorkey distributed checks to those receiving the funds.

“Grants to local schools and libraries are one of our major Rotary projects,” Schoonover said. “It is always great to be able to give back to the community.”

Sharon Moss received a Rotary grant for her third-grade class at Beverly Elementary School.

“I teach math to third graders,” Moss said. “One of the things I found was that kids learn if they are engaged. I wanted to order some programs with high activity that reinforce addition, subtraction and multiplication facts and skills, plus learning to think and problem solve. That is what this money will go for. I also ordered books that go with math reading.”

Mary Jo DeJoice, assistant director of the Booth Library on the campus of Davis & Elkins College, said the library’s grant will be used for books in the library’s children’s literature collection.

“I have found that our teacher/educators as well as young people in the community are asking for books to cope with certain things,” DeJoice said. “How do I cope with bullying? How do I cope with a learning disability? Folks are looking for help with these questions. That is the kind of books I will buy with these funds.”

Paula Mersing accepted a grant on behalf of the Elkins Randolph County Public Library.

“This money will be used for updating our children’s nonfiction books,” Mersing said. “It is important to keep up with certain sporting events and certain interests the kids have. We are also starting a children’s corner in the basement of the library. We are putting down carpeting, painting, putting in toys and getting more books for that area. We deeply appreciate this.”

Rocky Nestor, social studies instructor at Harman School, accepted an educational grant to purchase historical nonfiction books for elementary and middle school students.

“We plan to send these books home with the students during the summertime,” Nestor said. “This will help us greatly and we thank you.”

Rose Harvey, a special education instructor at Midland Elementary School, accepted a Rotary grant.

“I am planning to use this money as part of what I do every day,” Harvey said. “I am looking at some software programs that provide intervention for students in reading, math and writing. It has text to speech, so whatever appears on the screen can be read to the student.”

Another grant was accepted by Matt Postlethwait of Tygarts Valley Middle School.

“What we want to do in the Tygarts Valley High School Language Arts Department is get books that students would actually check out and read,” Postlethwait said. “We questioned and surveyed the students to find out what they want to read and now we are going to put those books on the shelves. We greatly appreciate your help, because every time you put a book in a kid’s hand, you put ideas in their mind.”

Melissa Daniels Walters, from Tygarts Valley Middle School, accepted a grant for new reading materials.

“We are really lacking in nonfiction reading materials for our middle school students,” Walters said. “I greatly appreciate it.”

The final grant was accepted by Hilary Ramsey from Tygarts Valley Middle School for the purchase of new projectors.