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Snapping Shoals taps schools for grant money

CONYERS - Eight Rockdale County Public Schools now have the chance to follow through with some special projects this school year.

At a special ceremony recently, Snapping Shoals EMC presented the funding for 15 projects at schools in Rockdale County through the Bright Ideas grant program. Projects this year cover science, math, writing, reading, disabilities, field trips, performing arts and other topics.

"The Bright Ideas grants are designed to help teachers who wish to extend educational opportunities and activities for students by developing student interests and abilities," said Leigh-Anne Burgess, communications specialist at Snapping Shoals EMC. "Teachers have innovative ideas about how learning can be made more exciting, effective and interesting and how curriculum can be expanded to meet the needs of particular groups of individual students."

The grants are designed to assist teachers in the planning and implementation of their ideas, she said.

In August, Snapping Shoals EMC announced that it would award more than $50,000 in grants to teachers in Rockdale, Newton and Henry counties this year. The grant money comes from unclaimed capital credits, which are allowed to be redistributed to educators since Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue allowed for it since 2005. Since then, Snapping Shoals has provided about $100,000 to teachers in its coverage area, Burgess said.

This year in Rockdale County, the school system's grant department received 46 proposals totaling almost $75,000. Each group had to submit a proposal and application for its projects.

While RCPS Grant Writer Tracy Knutsen said all of the projects were worthy of funding, her department could submit only 15 for consideration. Four of the projects received 100 percent funding, five received 80 percent and six received 65 percent.

"We are truly grateful for the generosity and support we've received from our friends at Snapping Shoals EMC," Knutsen said in an e-mail to schools. "We will continue to distribute other grant opportunities as they become available."

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.