Lowcountry teachers surprised with classroom grants

RIDGELAND, SC (WTOC) - Palmetto Electric's Prize Patrols is back at it, turning an ordinary day into an extraordinary day for teachers throughout the lowcountry.

"Ms. Ryans, Ms. Ryans, Congratulations," said Trey Hunter with Palmetto Electric as he entered the classroom. "You are the winner of the Bright Idea Grant from Palmetto Electric and the Palmetto Electric Cooperative."

Ridgeland Middle School Science Teacher, Jane Ryans,  is one of more than 40 teachers who were surprised with grant money for innovative classroom projects.  She says she has big plans for the $300 grant.

"Providing dissection specimens for the students in order for them to have that hands on experience when we start studying animals," said Ryans.

But the patrol didn't stop there.  They then headed to Thomas Heyward Academy.

"Ms. Stanley, Ms Stanley, Congratulations," said Hunter. "You are the winner of the Bright Idea Grant from Palmetto Electric and the Palmetto Electric Cooperative."

"Oh my gosh," said Stanley.

While she has won one of the grants before, Linda Stanley is excited about what this will mean for her students.

"I'm speechless," said Stanley. "I can't believe we got it."

As the computer applications and keyboarding teacher,  she plans on putting this $1,000 grant to good use, planning to purchase software to help integrate Spanish throughout the school.

"It's going to be used for Spanish 3," said Stanley.  "Our advanced Spanish is going to publish books and comics for lower school and share different holidays."

Those handing out the grants were happy they can help make that happen.

"It's great," said Hunter. "Anytime you can spend two days giving checks to teachers who need them for their classrooms, it doesn't get better than that."

This year, they handed out over $34,000 in grants to teachers in Beaufort, Jasper and Hampton Counties.

The grants are funded through Operation Round Up, a program where customers round up their electric bills to the nearest whole dollar.  It's also funded through Palmetto Electric's Million Dollar Hole-In-One shootout.

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