Unum presented 52 Hamilton County school teachers with more than $50,000 in mini-grants at its annual Strong Schools Grant teacher luncheon.
Part of a multi-year partnership between Unum and the Hamilton County Department of Education, the grants help pay for education materials and programs that engage students and improve their achievement levels.
"We're fortunate to have a lot of educators working hard to provide Hamilton County school kids with a great education, but each year these grants recognize the very best teachers in the area," said Tom White, senior vice president of investor relations for Unum. "Selected out of 112 applicants, these teachers are receiving grants for classroom projects that promise to provide exceptional learning opportunities for their students."
One grant awarded this year goes to Jennifer Brownlee of Red Bank Elementary School. Jennifer is a literacy coach that created the program Growing Families through Literacy, where the goal is to provide support outside of the classroom for students. The grant from Unum will be used to purchase books for the students to use at evening book clubs hosted by their teachers where families are welcome to join.
Another went to Jonathan Richard Johnson of Lookout Valley Middle/High for his project, Hablar por Chattanooga, or Talking Chattanooga. This program will allow students to use an iPod touch and educational apps to record themselves speaking as they learn Spanish. Jonathan explained that when a student can listen to a recording of themselves it helps them remember words and learn clear pronunciation.
Since 2008, Unum has awarded 323 Strong Schools Grants as part of its commitment of more than $950,000 to Chattanooga public schools.