Jackson’s ‘Tinker Town’ receives $2,500 Crayola grant

Crayola and the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) selected Jackson Primary School as a recipient of a $2,500 Champion Creatively Alive Children grant to expand and enhance its Tinker Town program that began last year.

The school also received $1,000 in Crayola products.

Jackson is only one of the 20 elementary and middle schools across the nation selected to receive the grants, which fund innovative programs aimed at fostering children’s critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and communication skills.

Launched last year through a $1,500 Teacher Mini-Grant from the Williamsport Area School District Education Foundation, Tinker Town was an after-school program that provided a creative, hands-on opportunity for students that challenged them to think creatively and critically while exploring ideas through STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).

The program saw an explosion of interest from the school’s students and parents, and is providing an innovative lens that continues to redefine learning.

Art teacher Sandy Corson, elementary librarian Sarah Bohnert, kindergarten teacher Rebecca Rockey and second-grade teacher Kerri Kotch are the program’s leaders.

“Seeing the dedicated Tinker Town team here at Jackson develop and grow this program has been very encouraging to me professionally and personally,” said principal Kirk Felix. “Having 250 families express an interest in having their children participate is evidence of how this team’s efforts are providing a fun and effective learning opportunity supported completely by volunteer efforts. I am proud and privileged to be a part of this group.”

In addition to the Crayola funds, the program team is pursuing an additional $1,500 Teacher Mini-Grant through the district’s education foundation to help further develop other aspects of the program.

“Tinker Town engaged, awakened and challenged the emotional, physical, intellectual, social and creative aspects of our students,” Corson said of the program last year.

Jackson Primary, located at 2500 Newberry St., is a kindergarten to third-grade school with an enrollment of about 475 students.