College Oaks Elementary teacher wins 'Unsung Hero' award

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - A school in Calcasieu Parish was honored for an innovative idea.

Two teachers at College Oaks Elementary worked together to create an out-of-the-box teaching method for students this year.

First grade teacher, Ashley Picard, is excited to teach her students even more subjects this school year.

"It really matched what we were looking for because first grade really lacks science and social studies and so we found the grant and then wrote it to match," Picard said.

Picard and former College Oaks teacher, Tericka Paul, wanted to create a more hands on science lab for first graders. The lab will start prepping students for college at an earlier age.

And the idea became an award-winning teaching program with a special grant.

Picard is a recipient of the ING Unsung Heroes Award and students benefit from the $2,000 grant.

In the past, first graders at College Oaks didn't touch science experiments. But now, they'll have an abundance of science tools in the classroom.

"They'll do experiments," said Picard. "They'll make actual tornados and scientific experiments using the scientific method."

This is the 17th year for the award. About 1,300 teachers around the country applied and only 100 educators won.

And ING Representative Daren Hood said he's happy to see Calcasieu teachers getting notice.

"Most teachers are not recognized like they should be and so we wanted to give back a financial donation because that seems where the shortfall is," said Hood.

And now Picard can help her students actively learn science.

The new teaching lab is based off of the STEMS program.

The elementary has a chance to win an even bigger grant in October.

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