Return to Headlines

Two Clinton elementary teachers awarded MPE classroom grants

MPE GrantNovember 16, 2021


Two Clinton elementary educators received classroom grants from the Mississippi Professional Educators in October.


Second grade teacher Laura Jo Ferguson and fifth grade computer science teacher Jana Chao were both awarded the grants in order to enhance educational opportunities for students in their classes.


Mrs. Ferguson was awarded the grant to fund a literary project inside her classroom called “Love for Reading Through Diversity.”


“I applied for the grant to get more books for my classroom that meet diversity standards for our learners,” she said. “I wanted to make sure that I had more nonfiction books and fiction books that reflected the cultural makeup of my classroom.”


Ferguson said not only did the purchase of the books reflect the cultural diversity of her classroom roster but the various reading levels as well. “My students get to handle these books, read them, take them home and take Accelerated Reader tests on them. As their reading skills grow, so will their reading fluency.”


In the same way that Mrs. Ferguson purchased books to allow for her students to grow, Mrs. Chao’s purchase of a VEX GO Robotics Kit is striving for similar academic success as well as reaching leadership goals.


Chao said the VEX GO Robotics Kit will be used with her Tech Team, a group of 16 students who focus on higher level academic enrichment as well as leadership and critical thinking skills.


“It’s truly amazing what MPE does for us,” Chao said, “both in terms of providing grants for academic endeavors as well as looking out for the public educators of Mississippi.”


Ferguson echoed her sentiments. “MPE does so much for educators, striving to help us all meet the needs of our classrooms and our students,” she said. “And they reach out to us regularly, making sure that we have our needs met. I’m truly thankful for them.”


Mississippi Professional Educators awards up to $40,000 in classroom grants to MPE members who wish to enhance instructional offerings or educational experiences for their students.


MPE was founded in 1979 and is a statewide professional association with more than 13,000 teachers, administrators and non-certified staff from kindergarten to graduate level.