Coakley Middle School teacher Norma Gonzalez is getting some help from American Electric Power (AEP) to create a new classroom experience for students on campus.
Gonzalez, an eighth grade science teacher, was awarded the AEP Teacher Vision Grant this past summer to complete her dream project of building an outdoor classroom for the students at Coakley, she said.
“Students can go out and learn how to tend a garden and see the different lifecycles of animals and plants,” said Gonzalez. “Not only are they learning life cycles and necessary science information for their upcoming STAAR test, but we are also teaching them how to apply the information they learn to real life situations.”
For Gonzalez, the grant has already been used to fulfill her dream. Earlier this month, Zachary Gonzalez, Harlingen High School South Senior and former Coakley student, assisted her by planning and building the classroom as part of his Eagle Scout Project.
The Teacher Vision Grant is awarded to teachers that motivate youth to students to think creatively,and address the challenges of the future.
“It thrills us when teachers take the initiative to go the extra mile to teach students about a variety of topics,” said Frank Espinoza, AEP Manager of Community Affairs. “What the Teacher Vision Grant does is it allows teachers to have the extra funds to unfold a project they have been wanting to do.”
The funds can be used for anything that is classroom related and is obtained through an application process, said Espinoza. Pre-K through 12th grade teachers who live or teach in the AEP service area or in communities with major AEP facilitates may apply.
For the 2014-2015 school year, applications are due before midnight on Feb. 28, 2014.
To find out more information about the Teacher Vision Grant and fill out an application click here.