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The Roanoke Rapids Schools Foundation has awarded two grants totaling $5,000 from the Newsom Family Endowment for the Arts. 

Mac Newsom, who is a 1961 Roanoke Rapids High School graduate, established the endowment as a way of giving back to the community and furthering art programs within the district. 

Manning AIG teacher Karen Wells and Roanoke Rapids High School Director of Bands Laura Manning each received a grant that will impact their respective programs. 

The grants were announced at Tuesday night’s Roanoke Rapids Graded School District Board of Trustees meeting. 

To date, the endowment has awarded more than $18,000 to teachers in the Roanoke Rapids Graded School District. 

In the gallery from left: Le, teacher of the year candidates, and Newsom endowment winners

Wells applied for the grant to give her AIG students an opportunity to experience poetry through animation. 

She will use the money to purchase supplies for her students to learn animation. 

In her application she wrote, “Linking animation to context and understanding fosters more complex thought and creates memorable experiences with text and may spark a passion the student didn’t even know existed — and not just with poetry.” 

Wells said she is excited for her students. "They are going to be so excited, so if you hear squeals of excitement coming from Manning, it will be us." 

The board also acknowledged the candidates for Teacher of the Year from each of the district sites. 

Selected were: Heather Dickens from ACES, Lisa Garris from Belmont Elementary, Marcianne Hargrave from Chaloner Middle School, Christina Evans from Clara Hearne Pre-K Center, Kimmy Woods from Manning Elementary, Laura Manning from Roanoke Rapids High School, and Ryan Stowinsky from  Roanoke Rapids Early College High School.

The winner will be announced in August.

Tiffany Le, a fourth grade student at Manning Elementary, was recognized for being one of 13 winners of the NC Farm to School art contest. 

Tiffany's artwork will be featured in the 2023-2024 NC Farm to School Calendar. Tiffany and her family will attend a reception in Raleigh later this week in celebration of the winners.