Pine Belt teachers chosen to receive environmental education grants

Pine Belt teachers chosen to receive environmental education grants
Hawkins Elementary (Hattiesburg) librarian Latisha Taylor works with students in the school’s Memory Garden. Taylor plans to install bird feeders and clean up the area with her Mississippi Power Environmental Education Grant. (Source: Mississippi Power)

PINE BELT (WDAM) - Mississippi Power announced Tuesday the names of 19 South Mississippi teachers that will receive grant money to help fund environmental education programs.

Several of those educators teach right here in the Pine Belt.

About $12,000 will be split between the teachers, who will use the funds to purchase equipment and supplies to teach environmental science.

Hawkins Elementary School teacher Latisha Taylor was one of the Pine Belt teachers chosen to receive grant money. She said her portion of the funds will be used make improvements to the school’s memory garden.

“We have a Memory Garden that’s set aside to honor students, parents and teachers that have passed away over the years. It’s a place where students can find peace and tranquility, read a book or just sit outside and relax if they’re having a rough day,” said Taylor. “We want to clean up the area and add some birdfeeders. The Memory Garden is located next to several floor-to-ceiling windows, so students will be able to observe the birds as they eat.”

Mississippi Power started awarding the environmental education grants in 2015. Since then, the company has awarded more than $65,000 to more than 140 teachers.

“Mississippi Power is pleased that our state’s educators are leading the way by engaging students on the importance of environmental protection and preservation,” said Mississippi Power Environmental Affairs Director Mark Loughman in a news release. “Teachers inspire their students in the classroom every day, and we hope these grants will assist and encourage a continued commitment to environmental stewardship.”

Below is a full list of the environmental education grant recipients:

  • Melanie Davis, Gulfport (Central Elementary School)
  • Rebekah Reese, Biloxi (Biloxi High School)
  • Carly Parker, Long Beach (Harper McCaughan Elementary School)
  • Amber Lash-Banks, Ocean Springs (St. Martin High School)
  • Leigh Hanna, Pascagoula (Pascagoula High School)
  • Priscilla Flanagan, Carriere (Pearl River Middle School)
  • Della Morgan, Forrest County (Forrest Co. AHS)
  • Latisha Taylor, Hattiesburg (Hawkins Elementary School)
  • Della Watson, Hattiesburg (Hawkins Elementary School)
  • Dominique Hilton, Hattiesburg (Hawkins Elementary School)
  • LaDisha Moore, Hattiesburg (Woodley Elementary School)
  • Lindsey Iosty, Petal (Petal Middle School)
  • Jaci Housley, Purvis (Purvis Lower Elementary School)
  • Donielle Faler, Sumrall (Sumrall Elementary School)
  • Jodi Cranford, Sumrall (Sumrall Elementary School)
  • Stephanie Stringer, Columbia (Columbia Primary School)
  • Angela Blackwell, Laurel (Maddox Elementary School)
  • Celeste Saucier, Meridian (St. Patrick Elementary School)
  • Beth Lang, Newton (Newton Co. Elementary School)

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