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Back to school and back to enriching education

At the Collierville Education Foundation, we’re passionate about providing teachers with the tools they need to enrich their students’ education. And with school back in session, we’re excited to start a whole new school year of doing just that. Thanks to the dedication of Collierville educators, CEF has been able to fund several innovative grants that allow students to form a lifelong love of learning and develop critical skills in a stimulating environment.

Critical thinking skills are essential but developing them in school can be difficult. Young students often overemphasize memorization in regular assignments, and traditional critical thinking questions can feel boring or complicated. That’s why Schilling Elementary teacher Erin Reagan applied for a CEF grant that could make learning engaging – even for the most reluctant learners. Ms. Reagan’s grant, “Get Me Outta Here,” provides classrooms with an escape room kit that offers students an exciting activity that aids in the development of critical thinking skills across multiple subject areas.

Speaking of engagement, an important part of any learning environment is student involvement. Studies show that students in schools with a strong sense of community are more likely to be academically motivated, have stronger distinctions between right and wrong, and develop emotional and social skills more quickly. A great way to develop a sense of community is to start with school spirit – like mascots! Schilling Farms educator, Jennifer Conti, raised her school’s spirit when she received a grant to purchase a mascot costume for the Schilling Farm Stallions.

In addition to creating a sense of community, it’s important that students learn about the ways in which they can be active community members outside of their school. Jennifer Conti also got CEF’s help on another grant she called, “It’s a Circus Out There,” which helped students learn about important socioeconomic issues and how they can make a difference in their community, even at a young age. Through this grant, students will have the opportunity to participate in guided classroom lessons on community engagement, then play carnival-style games and win fun prizes for answering lesson-related questions. What a great way to help students become leaders – both in and outside of the classroom.

Creating a fun, engaging learning environment is a great way to ensure students develop essential skills. We are proud to fund grants that, along with Collierville teachers’ innovation, allow students to reach their full potential. We are looking forward to a great school year!


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