Wheat honored with Leo Seal Award

Published 4:44 pm Thursday, April 24, 2008

South Side Upper Elementary’s Kristen Wheat now has funds to begin her Kid’s News Network thanks to a grant from the Leo Seal Recognition Award.

Wheat said she plans to use the $1,500 grant to fund a news network for the school where the children will make and present news to the school.

According to her proposal, the program will directly affect about 90 students who participate in the production of the news, while presentation of that news will affect the whole school.

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A reception was held Wednesday at the Hancock Bank in Gulfport where all five winners were honored with a lunch celebration.

University of Southern Mississippi president Martha Saunders was the guest speaker at the event and shared with the audience some of what she has learned in her career as an educator. One of the things she shared were her words to live by, “Live wisely, love earnestly, find joy, work and press on.”

After she shared her life experiences that lead her to formulate those words to live by each of the five winners were presented to the audience in the form of a short film.

Wheat’s project will involve fifth grade children who will produce a bi-weekly news program. Children will report on local and school events, education studies and national current events.

Through the program she hopes to be able to build students’ discovery in the fields of communication, music, art and technology, according to her project proposal.

Wheat said she plans to start the program at the beginning of the next school year in August. During the summer break Wheat plans to study similar programs in other schools to get some ideas how they work.

Wheat said she has already had a number of students express interest in joining her news crew, and not all of them want to be in front of the camera.

“They seem eager to do jobs behind the scenes as well, so that’s very encouraging,” Wheat said.

Wheat said she was honored by the outstanding job Hancock Bank and the Leo Seal award put forth at the celebration to recognize the teachers.

Leo Seal awards are presented to teachers by Hancock Bank to help fund educational proposals by teachers that Hancock Bank feels will enhance student learning. This is the tenth year Hancock Bank has presented the awards to South Mississippi teachers.