Cleburne County teachers were selected recently to receive grants through the SIMS program

 Cleburne County teachers were selected recently to receive grants through Arkansas Community Foundation’s Science Initiative for Middle Schools (SIMS) program. SIMS aims to spark students’ interest in science by providing materials for hands-on instruction that brings scientific and mathematical principles to life.

Across the state, 294 teachers received a total of approximately $180,000 for project materials like microscopes to study cells, tools for robotics labs and modeling equipment to explore Newton’s Laws through the example of roller coasters. These projects will benefit thousands of children in grades 5 through 8. Locally, five teachers at Heber Springs Middle School and one teacher at West Side Elementary School will receive funding that will benefit 629 children in Cleburne County.

Applications were submitted by teachers in counties served by one of Arkansas Community Foundation’s 27 affiliates, including Cleburne County Community Foundation.  Locally, a committee from Cleburne County Community Foundation reviewed proposals from teachers in Cleburne County

 “Science experiments can foster students’ curiosity and instill a love of learning, but they can also be costly to execute and can easily exhaust consumable materials for classroom projects. That’s why Cleburne County Community Foundation participates in the SIMS program to provide $500 awards for local middle school science teachers to purchase consumable science materials,” said Brenda Hill, Executive Director.

Teachers receiving grants and their project titles are:

Whitney Ashby           Heber Springs Middle School              Learning Essentials

April Grace                 Heber Springs Middle School              Stimulating Shark Dissections

Sheila Head               Heber Springs Middle School              What!  This Isn’t a Rock?

Mary Propes               Heber Springs Middle School              Rocks! Rocks! Everywhere

Joyce West                 Heber Springs Middle School             Water, Water, Everywhere

Melody West               West Side Elementary                       Eye Spy Dissection

Annual funding for this program is made possible by an endowed gift to the Community Foundation from the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation. Teachers may apply for SIMS grants beginning in May of each year; visit for more information.