JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Children may have some innovative new programs in their schools, thanks to a surprise Tuesday morning from community organizations.
The Junior League of Jackson and the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson teamed up to award thousands of dollars in grants to teachers in the Jackson Public School district.
Teachers in over 40 schools applied for the grants; 21 schools received them.
McWillie Elementary received the highest number of grants.
Teachers there plan to use the money to start new programs.
First grade teacher Jacqueline Griffin plans to use her grant to buy interactive handheld devices for her students.
"I honestly believe this is the start of something new for them. We know learning can happen in so many different ways. They're more of the technological age, so I honestly believe they'll be able to get these materials and run with them," said Griffin.
Many, like Tracy Lemons Frazier, had no idea they would receive thousands of dollars in grants.
She said her team's grant will be used for reading programs for three-year-olds.
"If we allow our children to enjoy reading earlier, they'll become lifelong readers, they'll enjoy reading more," said Frazier, McWillie's lead Montessori teacher.
Over $130,000 in grants are being awarded this year.
"With our legislative cuts and all that, as hard as it is to get funding, this is really important that we're able to do this for our children in our community," said Valerie Linn, Junior League president.
©2010 WLBT. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.