GOODNEWS: Central Gwinnett Cluster awards first grant

LAWRENCEVILLE -- The Central Gwinnett Cluster Foundation has awarded its first grant to improve writing skills for students of the cluster.

Foundation member Beverly Dryden said the grant is the first in a series that emphasize development and improvement of writing skills in K-12.

Principal Chandra Young of Simonton Elementary and Assistant Principal Shamika Simpson coordinate the writing project for the Central schools. Teachers, assistant principals and literacy coaches from each of the 10 cluster schools make up the team.

The group meets twice a year to find ways to improve students' writing.

The first meeting was held at Winn Holt Elementary, where 46 teachers, principals, assistant principals and literacy coaches gathered to discuss ways to teach writing and exchange ideas on how to make writing more exciting in the classroom.

There are more than a dozen cluster-based foundations in the Gwinnett County Public School System as well as an umbrella GCPS Foundation.

The role of the overall GCPS Foundation is to look out for the system as a whole as it applies for state and federal grants as well as corporate donors.

Donors can give money to the GCPS Foundation, which can earmark dollars for a specific cluster.

For more information on the Gwinnett County Public Schools Foundation Fund, visit www.gcps-foundation.org.Student wins math scholarshipDULUTH -- A student from Northview High School has been recognized by the Siemens Foundation for his work in mathematics.

Sitan Chen won a $40,000 scholarship for his work in the 2011 Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology. Chen was among about a dozen others from around the country who won awards for their efforts.

Administered by the College Board, the Siemens Competition is a program of the Siemens Foundation, which supports science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.

The 13th annual awards were presented on Dec. 5 at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Launched in 1998, the Siemens Competition is the nation's "premier science research competition for high school students."

An all-time record of 2,436 students registered to enter the competition, and 1,541 projects were submitted. About 300 were named semifinalists,and 96 were named regional finalists.

For more information, visit www.siemens-foundation.org.

Frank Reddy writes about education. Good News from Schools appears in the Sunday edition of the Daily Post.