Brooke Kramb, Stallings Elementary School’s literacy facilitator, and her students were surprised today (Nov. 15, 2011) when representatives from Union Power Cooperative (which sponsors the Bright Ideas education grant program), Carolina Panthers players Thomas Williams and Thomas Keiser, and Carolina Panthers’ mascot Sir Purr walked into her classroom with a very large check for $2,000.
“I’m very surprised and overwhelmed,” Kramb said. “I’m very passionate about family literacy because the love of reading begins in the home with the family. You need positive family support to get children excited about reading. The Family Literacy Night celebrates how powerful and exciting reading can be.”
In her grant proposal, Kramb said she wanted to immerse children and their families in literature experiences that promote the love of reading at home, as well as provide books and informational materials the families can add to their home libraries.
“Literacy programs such as this foster a love of reading that hopefully will remain with these children throughout their lives,” said Union Power Cooperative Manager of Communications Carrie Cameron. “Involving students’ families and providing reading materials has a significant impact on helping them succeed as they move through school and into college.”
After Kramb’s students had time for a visit and autographs from the Panthers players, all grades were treated to the surprise in a school assembly. At that time, Kramb was again presented a check in front of the entire school.
Panthers Williams and Keiser both spoke to students about the importance of reading and how it will impact their future. Sir Purr, mascot of the Carolina Panthers, entertained students with his dancing and lighthearted fun.
“We are honored to have this group here today,” said school principal Bill Breckenridge. “There were more than 100 applicants for these grants and our school was one of 14 in Union County chosen. We appreciate that and we appreciate the Carolina Panthers being part of this.”
The Bright Ideas grant program, sponsored by North Carolina’s Touchstone Energy cooperatives, strives to improve education in North Carolina classrooms by awarding grants to K-12 teachers for innovative, classroom-based projects that would not otherwise be funded.
Since its beginning in 1994, the Bright Ideas program has awarded more than $7.3 million in grant money to N.C. teachers to fund more than 7,000 projects, touching the lives of more than 1.3 million students.
Kramb was one of the first UCPS teachers to be awarded the Bright Ideas Grant in Union County. Other names will be announced in the near future.
This article was provided courtesy of the Communications Office of the Union County Public Schools.
2011 Union County, NC