Foundation donates $68,800 to `PowerFull Ideas`

A one-time program through the Mississippi Power Education Foundation has funded projects at 77 schools in the service area, for a total donation of $68,800 to enhance education.

The "PowerFull Ideas" program was offered in addition to the Foundation`s regular grants.

"The object of the program was to try to encourage teachers who had not participated in applying for grants to do so," said Huntley Biggs, manager, Education Services, G&SI Building. "The program also tried to target schools that we don`t normally hear from."

"PowerFull Ideas" applications were accepted from October through mid-December. More than 320 teachers applied for grants.

"We tried to capture those proposals that were unique," said Biggs, who serves as director of the Foundation. "Encouraging creative, new ideas was another objective of the program."

Proposals varied widely and included buying supplies for reading, math, geography and science projects.

One proposal that tilted the creative scale was from Candy Williamson, a teacher of second- and third-grade gifted students at Seminary Elementary in Seminary.

Williamson received a grant for a project involving Kamper Park Zoo in Hattiesburg. Students will visit the zoo to observe the conditions of the exhibits and then will produce multimedia presentations to share with other students.

The grant will buy a digital camera, color scanner, software and printer for the students to use.

"The presentations will help raise awareness of the problems that zoo animals face," Williamson said. "And with the project, the students will learn so much, thanks to the Foundation. The grant fulfills a tremendous need and is a tremendous help."