A record total of 172 teachers throughout the CSRA have received a combined $75,000 in “mini-grants” from Savannah River Nuclear Solutions.

The teachers were recognized at a reception Thursday.

Dwayne Wilson, SRNS’ president and CEO, said he was so impressed with the program a year ago that he added another $25,000 in grants.

“We are proud,” he said in a press release, “to reward educators who exhibit a strong passion for helping students better understand math, science and technology through innovative teaching methods.”

Thanks to the efforts of six North Aiken Elementary School teachers, dozens of students will get to “Build a Foundation” – learning how to move math concepts from concrete to abstract.

The teachers – Melissa Henry, Tyisha Carter, Charidy Simon, Latoya Wise, Shakia Wheeler and Curtis Dawkins – will share $500 to provide instructional assistance to their kids.

“We wanted a project that would give our kids more hands-on with manipulatives,” Wheeler said. “It has worked out well.”

The Teaching Mini-Grant Program awarded the funds through applications to SRNS. Millbrook Elementary School teachers did especially well, among them Sunny Forker. She plans to obtain a digital camera through her grant.

“We’re going to hatch butterflies in the animal life cycle,” she said. “We’ll be able to record pictures in lapsed time, as well as digital video. So many times in the past, our butterflies have hatched over the weekend, and my kids were devastated. This will allow them to have documentation that yes, their babies hatched.”

To view the full list of teachers and their grants, see an extended version of this article at www.aikenstandard.com.