Students Offered Enriching Curricula
Strickland, Sandy, The Florida Times Union
At Jefferson Davis Middle School, streetwise kids who are prone
to quit school will be learning to manage money and balance a
At West Jacksonville Elementary, students will be making model
rockets that will blast off from the Florida Air National
Guard's base at Jacksonville International Airport.
At Hyde Grove Elementary, the 665 students will be
immortalizing their faces and feelings in a permanent tile
And at Oak Hill Elementary, students will be taking field trips
to the zoo, a gallery and a park while drawing inspiration from
Beatrix Potter, creator of Peter Rabbit.
Those schools are among 16 on the Westside that have received
1996 enrichment grants from the Duval Public Education
Foundation Inc. The grants were awarded to Duval County
educators who have developed innovative programs.
The foundation awarded a total of $57,000 in grants to 65
schools throughout Duval County. Applications were submitted in
October. The winners were chosen by a panel of Duval County
business, community, PTA and education leaders.
Here's how some of the Westside schools will be using their
At Jeff Davis, Marsha Kerr Nix teaches seventh-graders who are
learning-disabled or have emotional or mental handicaps. They
are overage when they come to her and likely to drop out in the
ninth or 10th grade, she said.
"You can't teach these teenagers, who are so streetwise and
physically mature, like tender 11-and 12-year-olds," Nix said.
They need incentives to counteract boredom and a lack of
motivation. And they need to know what kind of jobs will get
them what kind of salaries and how they can stretch their
dollars, she said.
To accomplish that, they will be randomly assigned careers with
the corresponding salary to be paid each week with play money
and play checks.
They will maintain a simulated checking account, set up a
monthly budget, pay bills, buy a car, open a charge account,
hunt for an apartment, pay rent and learn to comparison shop.
If they complete their homework, come to class on time and are
cooperative, they can earn bonus bucks which they can spend in
the class store.
West Jacksonville fourthgraders will be setting their sights
skyward with the help of their $500 grant. Gregory Griffin of
the IBM Corp., the school's business partner, will spend one
hour per week teaching 53 students about the relationship
between model rocketry and math and science. For example, they
will have to predict and measure the altitude of their rockets.
They also will learn to set goals, do research, read directions
and work together.
A naval helicopter aviator and F-15 jet pilot will present the
lessons related to flight. After a field trip to the Kennedy
Space Center, students will launch their rockets to a height of
360 feet before parachutes deploy and they float safely back to
"The project will cover a lot of skills and these kids don't
get much of an opportunity to make things such as model rockets
or to go on field trips," said Cheryl Collins, a fourthgrade
teacher who will be working with Griffin on lesson plans.
At Hyde Grove Elementary , students will be firing tiles, not
rockets. Several staff members got the idea for a mosaic when
they went shopping for bathroom tile for their homes and noticed
one company had a lot of discontinued fragments. When they asked
for donations, they were given enough to fill a pickup truck. …