Alabama Teacher Awarded $1K Grant By Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority
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Jeniqua Johnson, a Tuscaloosa, Alabama, elementary school teacher, was chosen as the first recipient of the First Year Educator grant from members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.
Johnson said she was “really surprised” when she received the $1,000 grant and she looks forward to using the money to provide her students with much-needed educational tools. She added that the grant will be especially beneficial to her English Language Learner students and her students with autism.
The Southview Elementary School teacher was nominated by members of the Eta Xi Omega Chapter in Tuscaloosa.
The grant was designed to help first-year teachers during a time where they face significant challenges.
“The first year of teaching is a period of immense growth. First-year teachers learn not only about their students but also about themselves as educators,” Dr. Shanté Morton, president of the Eta Xi Omega Chapter, told the Tuscaloosa Thread.
In an interview with Tuscaloosa’s WBRC, Morton acknowledged the high turnover rate for teachers. She says that she hopes by offering support, they can encourage teachers to stay in the field.
“We’re doing this to support local educators in west Alabama. About 50% of teachers who have been teaching for three years leave the field, so it’s a critical time,“ Morton said.
The grant is a part of the sorority’s Uplift Our Local Community Initiative, a pledge to support and empower members of their communities.
Southview Elementary Principal Romika Amerson said Johnson has a “unique ability” to connect with students and their parents.
“Students know that she expects the best from them and she believes in their ability to perform well. She takes time to know her students individually,” Amerson told the Tuscaloosa Thread.