• 48°

Bright Beginnings receives $5,000 grant

The look on Dr. Tera Simmons’ face as she entered Butler County Schools Superintendent Amy Bryan’s office was one of confusion.

Simmons, director of curriculum for the Butler County School System, was expecting a one-on-one meeting with Bryan Thursday afternoon.

The look of confusion quickly turned to excitement when she was presented with a $5,000 check by Jeff Adams, area supervisor at CenturyLink. The grant was awarded through CenturyLink’s Teachers and Technology program.

“This is the best day,” Simmons said.

Jeff Adams, area supervisor at CenturyLink, presented Dr. Tera Simmons with a $5,000 check on Thursday through the CenturyLink Clarke M. Williams Foundation's Teachers and Technology program. The funds will be used to purchase a WePlaySmart Multi-Touch Table for Bright Beginnings. (Advocate Staff/Andy Brown)

Jeff Adams, area supervisor at CenturyLink, presented Dr. Tera Simmons with a $5,000 check on Thursday through the CenturyLink Clarke M. Williams Foundation’s Teachers and Technology program. The funds will be used to purchase a WePlaySmart Multi-Touch Table for Bright Beginnings. (Advocate Staff/Andy Brown)

The CenturyLink Clarke M. Williams Foundation’s Teachers and Technology grants are designed to help fund projects that advance student success through the innovative use of technology. Teachers in public or private schools in CenturyLink’s residential service areas are eligible to apply for a Teachers and Technology grant.

Simmons had applied for the grant through CenturyLink, but had no idea her grant proposal had won approval. At least not before she walked into Bryan’s office.

“I had no idea,” Simmons said. “I had received a call from CenturyLink over spring break because they needed a tax exempt number for the application, but there was no indication we had received the grant. This is just a wonderful, wonderful surprise.”

Adams thanked Simmons for all that she does for Butler County’s students.

“Your work in developing a program to advance student success through the innovative use of technology is one that we are especially excited about,” Adams said.

Simmons said the funds will be used to purchase a WePlaySmart Multi-Touch Table for Bright Beginnings.

Simmons said the interactive table will allow the students to play games that develop core literacy and math skills, as well as promote the social-emotional and cognitive skills needed for academic success, while making learning fun.

“By working collaboratively to solve problems, the students learn to take turns, follow directions and be a team player,” she said. “This technology will help to develop four social-emotional areas: executive function, social competence, behavior control, and emotional control.”

Simmons said that without the grant, it wouldn’t have been possible for the school system to incorporate this technology into the classroom.

“This is something the Pre-K teachers wanted, but it was so expensive that we didn’t think there was any way we could get it,” Simmons said. “I can’t wait to tell them that we’re getting it.”