UWA brings the world to students in surrounding counties

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 14, 2005

REGIONAL-The globe. A few simple pieces placed together to form a desktop version of the world. A learning tool that requires no batteries. Unless, it’s the interactive, talking globe that will soon be in classrooms across the region.

Law Lamar, a member of University of West Alabama’s Foundation Board, has donated close to $5,000 in talking globes to partner school systems.

Tom DeVaney, professor of education and Dean of the College of Education at UWA, said the globes will be distributed to fifth grade classrooms in surrounding counties.

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“We are partnered with 19 school systems,” DeVaney said. “So we donated to the surrounding counties and sort of drew names for the further ones.”

Twelve will go to Sumter County, eight to Demopolis city schools, seven to Marengo County, two to Linden city schools, eight to Wilcox County, 11 to Pickens County, and eight to Lamar County.

According to DeVaney, the age limit suggested on the globes was ages 8 and up, so it was only right for them to be given to children of the appropriate ages.

“It’s our effort to improve schools in the surrounding areas,” he said.

UWA has donated paper, bookshelves, file cabinets, and chairs to schools in the past.

This year, plans are to finish distributing the globes and to fulfill the “wish list” of the schools, according to June Crawford, Ed. D., associate professor of secondary education at UWA.

“We meet once a year with our partner schools to see what they need,” Crawford said. “We don’t have the money to furnish it, but we try to find people who do.”

Many items come from donations. Alabama Power has played a large role in the program.

“Alabama Power let us go through the things stored in their warehouse,” she said.

The group has also received a Bell Grant for $16,000 to purchase math kits for students in Sumter County, which will aid in professional development.

As they deliver globes to schools, UWA has donated copiers that will also be given to Linden Elementary and John Essex.

“We’ve been doing this a long time,” DeVaney said. “We do things to help them because they help us by training our student teachers. And it’s paying off.”