Cassopolis Middle School teacher awarded MEC grant

Published 9:43 am Thursday, January 27, 2022

CASSOPOLIS — One Cassopolis classroom will have the opportunity to have more hands-on lessons, thanks to a grant from a regional business.

Earlier this month, Cassopolis Middle School Teacher Amanda Solloway was the recipient of a Midwest Energy and Communications Strengthening Schools Grant. The long-running grant program allows any teacher, administrator or school official in MEC’s service territory to apply for a grant of up to $2,500 to support classroom needs and special projects, technology, or academic clubs and organizations.

The $920 grant Solloway received from MEC will go toward purchasing 10 triple beam balance scales for her eighth-grade classroom. The balances measure the mass of an object. Currently, Solloway’s students all share one balance that is on loan from the high school.

Solloway said she believes the equipment purchased with the grant will go a long way toward her students’ educations and will help them become more interested in the subject they are learning.

“Measurement is an important skill for students, and when we measure in science, we measure differently than how we measure in the real world,” she said. “This is just another way open [students’] eyes to different things in science — different activities and labs that we can do to make it exciting for them. If they use the triple beam balances, which they love using them, that hands-on experience helps get them excited about science rather than just reading questions for a textbook or something.”

By having 10 balances, Solloway said her students can all work on projects at the same time, adding that she would not have been able to purchase the equipment with MEC’s grant.

“I was so shocked and excited,” Solloway said of when she learned she was selected for the grant. “I had no idea I was being chosen. … It’s awesome.”

Both Solloway and Cassopolis Middle School Principal Carey May said they were grateful for the MEC grant.

“This is our second year open and our second year getting a grant from Midwest, and we are just honored,” May said. “We love Midwest and their commitment to schools and the community. It helps us so much, as we are a smaller district. Fewer students mean less money from the state, so every bit we can get helps, goes directly to our students and helps immensely.”

The MEC grant is not the only time Solloway’s classroom has received financial support from the community this year. She has also received grants from the Cassopolis Public Schools Foundation and Honor Credit Union. Solloway and May said they are proud to see the way the community supports Cassopolis Middle School.

“We would not be where we are without the support from our community and our businesses,” May said.