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Scott County teacher awarded grant money to improve everyday school activities

One Scott County teacher has some new tools to help local kids learn thanks to a new grant.
One Scott County teacher has some new tools to help local kids learn thanks to a new grant.(BreannaHarris/kfvs)
Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 5:02 PM CDT
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SCOTT COUNTY, Mo. (KFVS) - One Scott County teacher has some new tools to help local kids learn thanks to a new grant.

Western Governors University Missouri awarded Kelly Elementary kindergarten teacher Emily Essen a grant to buy various items to help kids build their fine motor skills.

“I thought it was just a great opportunity to get some materials for our classroom,” said Essen.

Essen says Items like plastic tweezers, nuts and bolts, and peg boards will help kids struggling with muscular coordination and gripping.

“I decided to go with the idea of getting materials for centers for fine motor skills. Were seeing students who are lacking in that due to being introduced to phones and tablets at a young age, so they’re not getting the muscle tone that they need in the arches of their hands,” Essen said.

Essen said kids today are so used to pointing and swiping on devices, they’re losing muscle tone in their thumbs and fingers to be able to do things like write with a pencil or cut with scissors.

“She saw a need that our students needed and so she took the initiative,” said Nix.

Principal Shawn Nix said, it’s important for students to improve fine motor skills.

“Its going to give our kids that additional practice that they’re going to need to use those hands to do just all kinds of school skills. We use pencils, and scissors and all kinds of things like that every day and anything that our teachers can take and use while kids are having fun while their learning,” Nix said.

Nix said they will use the materials to help their students succeed in their education. “It’s just exciting to know that my students next year and even the summer school would be able to get these materials in their hands and go ahead and start building those muscles that they need for their future.”

Kelly Elementary School plans to start using the materials in summer school.

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