Leading the Way

Colonial Life grant sparks passion for learning in local students

Everybody learns in different ways.

For students at Pair Education Center who haven’t been successful in a traditional classroom setting, it’s not just how they learn, but having the tools to get them excited about learning.

Pair Education Center has brought that excitement into the classroom with the help of a Colonial Life Strong Schools Grant.

Properties and changes in matter are covered in the South Carolina state chemistry standards for both high school and third-grade science students. Pair Education Center teachers Suzette Brunson and Lynn Moseley saw if they could purchase science lab equipment, they’d have an opportunity to build an interactive classroom based on collaboration and mentorship involving students of both ages.

Their idea was that first, both Brunson and Moseley would teach the grade-level appropriate academic material to both ages of students. Once the older students were confident in their knowledge, Moseley would bring her younger students into the science lab to be taught the experiment portion of the lesson from the older students.

With this model, the older students are learning patience, mentorship and further understanding of the material by answering the younger students’ questions. The younger students are learning new material in a hands-on environment, which is something new to all of them.

“Most students learn best with hands-on experiences, but it’s a must with our unique population,” Brunson said. “Without the Strong Schools Grant funds, this experience wouldn’t have been possible for our students.”

Since receiving the Strong Schools Grant, Brunson and Moseley have been able to facilitate this style of learning with four unique programs. It’s been so successful that students as young as 5 and as old as 21 have been invited to participate.

Marie McGehee, community relations manager at Colonial Life, saw the program in action.

“The Strong Schools Grant program was created to support teachers in Lexington School District Two  who have innovative and creative ideas for student engagement,” McGehee said. “These teachers have a passion for helping their students learn and I’ve never seen students so excited to participate.”

The program will be able to continue long-term as new students rotate into Pair Education Center, since the science equipment can be used for years to come.

“They’re learning so much and I’m so very grateful,” said Moseley. “Thanks to Colonial Life’s Strong Schools Grant program, we’ve increased our students’ engagement focused on world-class knowledge and life and career skills.”

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