The Hancock Chamber Education Committee will award close to $5,000 in classroom grants and recognize over 200 educators with door prizes donated by area businesses to “Celebrate and Honor Our Teachers Hearts, Brains and Courage” during the 11th Annual Teacher Appreciation Dinner on Tuesday, August 1st at Bay- Waveland Middle School.
“If you are an educator and you live or teach in Hancock County schools, whether private, parochial, public, career technical or at an institution of higher learning, this is your open invitation to attend this event,” said Raymunda Barnes, chairman of the Hancock Chamber Education Committee and Assistant Vice President of the Hancock Center of Pearl River Community College.
Teachers should arrive at 4:30pm to visit exhibitor booths that offer information and services useful to teachers, students and classrooms. The program begins at 5:30pm, which will include a Mississippi catfish dinner with all the fixings. Each year, the catfish is sponsored by the Silver Slipper Casino & Hotel and fried by a team led by Jimmie Ladner with other elected officials and community leaders. Recipients of the grants will be announced that support enhancements for science, math and technology programs.
Other sponsors of the event are Chemours – DeLisle Plant, Mississippi Power Foundation, The First, A National Banking Association, Hancock Bank, John McDonald Realty, Law Office of Brehm Bell, Representative David Baria, The Peoples Bank, Ron and Gretchen Thorp, Edward & Susan Gibson, American Medical Response, Dempsey’s Seafood & Steak Restaurant, St. Stanislaus Café, Hollywood Casino – Gulf Coast, Wal-Mart, and S&L Office Supplies.
“The children of Hancock County are our future workforce and we want to make sure that educators know how much the community appreciates and supports the important work they do for all of us,” said Barnes.
The programs the Hancock Chamber Education Committee supports are critical to educational outcomes to insure that teachers and students have the resources, support and the encouragement they need to reach their highest potential.
It is leaders like Barnes who have initiated programs like Excel By 5 to insure that children are ready to learn by the time they reach kindergarten. Each year, the committee also raises funds to donate books to school libraries. Through the Bookworms Reading Program, volunteers bring the love of reading to 50 first and third grade classrooms reaching over 1,000 students.
In April, the committee brings all of Hancock County’s High Schools together for a breakfast to pay tribute to graduating seniors. During the meeting, they are recognized for their accomplishments and encouraged to pursue their next path in life whether it be seeking employment, joining a military service or advancing their education at a community college or four year institution. They are also provided with an opportunity to exercise their constitutional right to vote, by registering.
At graduation, one high school senior is selected from each school as the recipient of the Hancock Chamber Scholarship Award in recognition of outstanding character, respect for peers and faculty and academic excellence.
To find out more or get involved, contact Sally Isaacs at the Hancock Chamber at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 228-467-9048.