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Sonic Recognizes Jennie Church as May Teacher of the Month

Sonic Recognizes Jennie Church as May Teacher of the Month
Posted on 06/04/2019
Sonic Teacher of the Month

Jennie Church, a Charleston County School District Special Education teacher at Ashley River Creative Arts was recently named the Limeades for Learning May Teacher of the Month by SONIC. She was awarded $500 to be used towards a DonorsChoose.org project.

Throughout the year SONIC showcased passionate teachers who received funding through SONIC’s $1 million donation match with DonorsChoose.org. DoorsChoose.org is a web-based fundraising tool for educators across the country. It has vetted and fulfilled over 1.3 million classroom project requests.

Church, who teaches third through fifth graders, dedicates herself to providing her students with essential and innovative learning materials and supplies to foster their growth.

“Anytime I experience an “Ah-ha” moment with a student, my passion to push harder and reach deeper is re-ignited,” said Church. “My students face challenges in multiple areas that others take for granted. This influences how they interpret and interact with the world around them. By viewing the world through their eyes, my students have taught me endless lessons in patience, endurance, and celebrating every accomplishment.”

Jennie ChurchLimeades for Learning funded flexible seating, an indoor garden, and wireless headphones for Church’s classroom. In the spring of 2019, she wrote a “dream project” that would provide an entire year of weekly Music Therapy sessions to her students by a certified therapist. SONIC contributed $770 to the Music Therapy Project.

“It was a huge project, and I had some doubts about being able to complete it before the new school year starts,” said Church. “An unexpected large donation, with a donation match by SONIC, brought that dream to life. I could not ask for a better gift to my students.”

As a multi-grade classroom, Church does the majority of direct instruction in rotating groups or stations. With this, comes the inevitable hum of noise (and distraction).

“Through the incorporation of musical exercises, my students will have the opportunity to engage in a personalized music curriculum tailored to encourage choice, movement, involvement, communication, and motor skills,” said Church.

By utilizing wireless headphones during the group rotations, students can better focus on the lesson while still being able to move/ wiggle freely and gain sensory relief.

“My students were amazed the first time our new headphones went live,” said Church. “As for the indoor garden, my students are hands-on learners who blossom when they have a chance to experience science and nature up close. During the upcoming school year, we will be able to observe the life cycle of a variety of plants grown hydroponically. We will also be able to use herbs and veggies grown in our garden in our weekly cooking activities.”

Church said her students are enthusiastic learners who enjoy the inclusion of music and movement into their daily routine and thematic units.

“We have been blessed to experience a year of weekly Music Therapy services with Charleston Music Therapy LLC, and I am grateful for the opportunity to continue into the 2019-2020 school year,” said Church.

Church explained that by supporting classroom project requests, Limeades for Learning is helping to bring awareness to the needs of educators and classrooms across the nation.

“Teaching goes far beyond the presentation of academic skills,” said Church. “My students must have their basic needs met before I can expect them to learn and retain. I am thankful for programs that support learning at all levels.”

For more information on Limeades for Learning by SONIC, please contact Jennie Church at Jennifer_Church@charleston.k12.sc.us.

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