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20 Duval Teachers To Receive $500 Innovation Grants For Classroom Projects

Cyd Hoskinson

Twenty Duval County teachers have won a $500 PowerUp Jax innovation grant for their project proposals.  And one of those teachers will get a bit of extra money, based on public sentiment.

The Jacksonville Public Education Fund and the Community First Cares Foundation are awarding the grants.

JPEF President Trey Csar described one project at Ribault Middle School, as "where kids are going to be using the example of the Flint water crisis to build their own water filtration units.”

Among the other winning projects are an arts festival, a Jedi Academy and making music with ukuleles.

All 20 are posted on JPEF’s Facebook page for voting. 

“It’s a fun way for the community to get involved,” he said.

Csar said the winner of what he calls “the lightning round” will get an additional $150. 

Here's the list:

  • Rebekka Allen, Mt. Herman Sunshine Garden Enterprise, Mt. Herman Exceptional Student Center
  • Mary Elizabeth Ballentine, Postcrossing: Making Global Connections, Oceanway Middle School
  • Shaun Bennett, The Steel Drum Project, Ortega Elementary
  • Susan Burns, One Teacher’s Trash…, Fishweir Elementary School
  • Heidi Ecklor, IMPOSSIBLE becomes I’M POSSIBLE in Innovative Inclusive Classrooms Implementing iPads, John Stockton Elementary School
  • Jessica Fessenden, TEDXWolfson: A community-partnered discussion to increase global mindedness, Wolfson High School
  • Gayle Fiser, Your Family has NO Taste!, Darnell-Cookman Middle-High School
  • Priscilla Hardage, Gods and goddesses and creatures oh my!, Chimney Lakes Elementary
  • Monica Isom, GIZMO Funding, Joseph Finegan Elementary
  • Dr. Mai Dinh Keisling, Experiencing Museums: Impact on IB-Art and AP Art History Exam Scores, Paxon School for Advanced Studies
  • Dwyane Kohn, Young Gentlemen Group of Kings Trail Elementary, Kings Trail Elementary
  • Cheryl B. Lemine, In Honor of Veterans – A booklet of Freelance Poetry,LaVilla School of the Arts
  • Emmie McMahon, A Jedi Academy will make Jedi Masters!, Lone Star
  • Jane Monks, Mt. Herman Art Festival, Mt. Herman Exceptional Student Center
  • Vernita Moore, Human Impact on The Environment (specifically our sources of water), Jean Ribault Middle School
  • Donalee Nobles, Creating Music Through Ukuleles, Romona Elementary School
  • Bethany Patel, Wonderful WonderBots!, John Stockton
  • Kathleen M. Poe, When given the choice, “Choose Kind,” Jacksonville Beach Elementary
  • Ashley Russell, The Power is in Our Hands!, Chets Creek Elementary
  • Elizabeth Thomas, Request for Chemical and laboratory Equipment for the Chemistry Club, Darnell-Cookman Middle-High School

Reporter Cyd Hoskinson can be reached at, 904-358-6351 or on Twitter at @cydwjctnews

Cyd Hoskinson began working at WJCT on Valentine’s Day 2011.