North Fort Myers High School Wins A Coveted State Farm Teacher Assist Grant!

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North Fort Myers, FL. Feb. 10, 2021 – In January, teachers throughout the state of Florida submitted innovative teaching ideas to the grant committee of State Farm ® Teacher Assist.  Hundreds of entries from around the state flooded in. The State Farm ® Teacher Assist grant committee culled the entries to 200. Then they deliberated over the submissions to judge which were the most innovative proposals to fund.  

State Farm is proud to award $100,000 to teachers across Florida. Forty teachers will each receive a $2,500 grant to implement or support their specific classroom projects. 

North Fort Myers High School’s very own Ms. Joy Williams won one of these 40 grants!  She is so thankful that State Farm generosity continues throughout these challenging times. She said “Many companies have reduced their community support during the COVID pandemic, but State Farm commitment to helping teachers and in turn our students and their families is as robust as ever.” 

Ms. Williams’s chosen grant is not simply for her classroom. She will work with Principal Deborah Diggs, Assistant Principal Ronda Amaya and Building Supervisor Michael Hingson to implement the funded project. The project will blend the Arts and Sciences to build an analemmatic sunclock between the bus ramp and the garden. 

The need for this campus improvement was described in the grant request as “Our 1,804 students easily understand that the Earth takes 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4.09 seconds to make a full rotation on its axis. They call it a “day”. The revolution of the Earth around the Sun resulting in four seasons is more difficult to fathom when every day in Southwest Florida seems like a summer day. The temperature on the Autumnal Equinox in Lee County was 89 degrees Fahrenheit (31.67 degrees Celsius).” Building an analemmatic sunclock will help students observe and understand the incremental changes in the Sun’s declination degrees which result in the four seasons. 

This project will involve hundreds of Red Knight students. Every Red Knight student will be able to stand at the sunclock’s center casting their shadow to tell the time. The Visual Arts students will design the patterns to be used for the metal panels and tiles. The Science students will help determine the declination of the sun at our latitude to ensure accurate alignment. The Voluntary Public Service students will help place the stepping stones, weed block and garden gravel. The Access students will be the first to enjoy the new facility after a planned ribbon cutting ceremony. 

The goal is to build something similar to the human sundial located at Herkenrode Abbey in Hasslet, Flanders, Belgium is in the public domain and is attributed to Willy Leenders – Own work posted on https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4931735 

Nationwide, State Farm is awarding $500,000 in grants to teachers. Two hundred teachers, 40 each in Florida, California, Michigan, New York and Texas will each be receiving $2,500 State Farm® Teacher Assist grants. The money will help them meet the challenges of teaching during the pandemic. 

“As a company, we have a long history of working with teachers, educators, and students across the country. We are heartened by the immense response received from teachers sharing their solutions to overcoming challenges,” said Annette Martinez, State Farm Senior Vice President. “Congratulations to the winners. We are proud to support you and help you reach your goals!” 

We thank again all the teachers that submitted their ideas. You are making our neighborhoods safer, stronger and better educated. For the full list of winners, visit the State Farm ® Teacher Assist website.

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