Edgefield teacher awarded for innovative teaching methods


EDGEFIELD COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) – A local Edgefield County teacher getting mega props for her creative teaching methods.

Voya Financial has awarded educator Leigh Raines $2,000 of W. E. Parker Elementary to bring her innovative teaching idea to life. She is one of 50 teachers nationwide to receive the award.  Raines students will be using STEM methods to develop a gravity powered downhill soapbox derby racer.

Funded by the grant, students building the soapbox derby racer will have a chance to learn hands on STEM related disciplines as well as skills such as teamwork, communication, creativity and critical thinking. 

Voya’s Chief Diversity and Corporate Responsibility Officer and President, Angela Harrell says, This year, educators like Leigh Raines have had to be particularly innovative to find new and creative ways to reach students to help keep them engaged during challenging times,” she added. “We are proud to support educators across the country as they go above and beyond to ensure they are connecting with their students with innovative approached to learning.”   

Raines, the only winner from South Carolina, will later go on to compete nationally for either a $5,000, $10,000 or $25,000 prize.  The grant is part of Voya’s “Unsung Heroes’ program which has awarded more than $5.8 million in support of educators throughout the United States.

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