St. Charles Parish school clubs, teachers receive thousands in grant money

St. Charles Parish schools received a multitude of grant money this year.

Over $10,000 in grants were awarded to teachers and student organizations at Destrehan High School, Hahnville High School, Harry Hurst Middle School, Norco 4-6 and R.K. Smith Middle School.

At Destrehan, the Robotics Team received $4,000 in grant money from Northrop Grumman Corporation and ITT Technical College to fund entry into the Bayou Regional Robotics Competition in January for the second time since the team formed in 2008.

Brian Young, electronics Teacher and coach of Wildcat Robotics Team, said that going to the competition would have been “impossible” without this grant money.

“We attend the kickoff in the NASA Stennis Space Center. Every team across the world goes to a kickoff site and the challenge is presented via satellite,” Young said. “Everybody is unveiled a problem at the same time and everybody gets the exact same kit of parts.”

The team will have to build a robot with a specified goal while adhering to a lot of technical rules and guidelines.

Last year, the team was awarded the judge’s Xerox Creativity Award, which Young said is awarded to the most creative, inventive and unique robot in the competition.

The R.K. Smith Jr. Beta Club received the most grant money with $4,255 awarded by the Joe W. and Dorothy Brown Foundation Service Learning Organization.

Three teachers from Norco 4-6 also received Brown Foundation grants.

Madeleine Neske, Lynn Rochelle and Stacy Vollenweider each received grants totaling $2,429.

Rochelle, literacy teacher at Norco 4-6, said she is using the money to fund a project involving two sixth-grade classes going to Norco K-3 to teach kindergarten students to make predictions, connections and conclusions through reading.

“They plan out a lesson just as a teacher plans out a lesson for a student,” Rochelle said.

Hurst Middle School is using their Brown Foundation Grant, written by Pam Shepard, for a similar purpose.

Middle school storywriters visited New Sarpy Kindergarten students and lead them in a study of Louisiana animals. They read animal stories and helped the kindergartners make animal puppets.

This project is aimed at helping kindergarten students practice reading high-frequency words and helping them use literacy strategies to become independent readers.

Hahnville received $750 from ExxonMobil’s Educational Alliance program thanks to the efforts of Champion’s Exxon #50 in Boutte.

The money will be used to purchase graphing calculators for the school’s math program.


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