Mini grants awarded to R-II teachers

By Theo Tate
Posted 11/21/22

Alayna Parmalee was ecstatic with the items she received from Amazon on Nov. 10.

The third-grade teacher from Jonesburg Elementary received a Hug Boat, a meditation light, fidgets and a weighted …

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Mini grants awarded to R-II teachers


Alayna Parmalee was ecstatic with the items she received from Amazon on Nov. 10.

The third-grade teacher from Jonesburg Elementary received a Hug Boat, a meditation light, fidgets and a weighted blanket for her Kind and Cozy Calming Corner project, which will help students fight off anxiety, depression and stress.

“I feel like with the things that I have purchased, they would be able to put themselves back in their center and come back to our main whole group area,” Parmalee said.

The project helped Parmalee become one of 13 teachers in the Montgomery County R-II School District to earn a Kiwanis mini grant. The grants are $250 each, assisting teachers with specific projects.

All of the recipients were honored during a R-II board meeting at the Jonesburg Elementary School cafeteria on Nov. 10. Besides Parmalee, the other recipients were Corey Blackburn, Carla Parker, Jessica Fredrick, Stacy Godsil, Tina Harms, Audra Heimer, Kateryna Henness, Jessica Rodgers, Eva Rasey, Sheridan Temperly, Jeanette Ventimiglia and Kristal Zerr.

“It’s a blessing to know that I’m standing with other educators that put in the effort like I did,” Parmalee said. “It’s good to know that they’re doing this for kids.”

The mini grant program is in its 15th year. The program is supported financially by many local civic clubs, including Montgomery City Kiwanis, Jonesburg Lions, Jonesburg Optimist, Jonesburg Lady Lioness, Montgomery City Lions and the Montgomery County Rotary Club.

Harms, a second-grade teacher at Montgomery City Elementary, was awarded a grant for her STEAM It Up In the Makerspace project, which will provide and enhance a makerspace in her classroom with an emphasis on activities that are related to science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.

Zerr, an early childhood teacher at MCE, received money for her I Want To Touch That project, which will help children improve on their fine motor skills.

Heimer, an art teacher at Montgomery County High School, received a grant for her Painting With Ease project. It will allow her to purchase easels for her classroom and provide ease in the classroom when students are working on larger projects.

Fredrick, a nurse at MCHS, came up with a project called Don’t Let The Bed Bugs Bite. The grant will allow her to buy a Zapp Bug Heater for the school to help kill bed bugs and other insects that are brought into school from home on student items.

Rodgers, a special education teacher at MCHS, has a project called Real World Math Skills, which allows her to teach students real world math and life skills.

The other projects are Social Skills Curriculum (Blackburn), Fun With Physics (Godsil), ZappBug Heater (Parker), Safe Hydration Supplies (Henness), Farm To Table (Rasey), Flexible Learning (Temperly) and Calming Emotions Cozy Corner (Ventimiglia).

For her project, Parmalee provides a calm corner space in her room and helps students get objects they can use to regulate their mind and body independently.

Parmalee received her third mini grant. The teacher said getting the grant this year was helpful.

“It means a lot,” Parmalee said. “It takes a lot of pressure off of me because I’m a mom. That $250 can go a long way at home. It’s hard to spend that in your classroom. But when you need it, you need it. It takes a long time to fill out a grant. Whenever you receive it, it’s super special. It’s really nice to have some help with things in your classroom.”

Parmalee is in her fourth year as JBE teacher. She taught six years at Montgomery City Elementary before returning to her alma mater in 2019.

“I grew up here, so I knew I was going to come back,” Parmalee said.


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