Through the One Class at a Time program CBS 42 has been able to present local teachers with one thousand dollar grants! This year marks 20 years of honoring teachers who make a big difference in Central Alabama.

This week’s winner is Lela Sutton, a third grade teacher at U.W. Clemon Elementary School and she really cares for her students.

“They’re so sweet and they’re so smart and it’s like the most capable group of students I’ve ever met and they want to learn, so, so much,” said Sutton.

Sutton believes third grade is an important year for students and their progression.

“As you progress with math, you can get to a place where you’re more comfortable with mental math and my students are not there yet. Not being able to visualize the math would be incredibly hard,” said Sutton.

An important aspect of helping fuel that growth is making sure the students have the tools to help them succeed.

“They have to have math manipulatives. They have to be able to have fraction pieces, to learn fractions. They need to have their base ten blocks to learn math. And so, those items are incredibly expensive,” said Sutton.

That is why she plans to use her grant to buy those manipulatives for her classroom.

Congratulations, Ms. Sutton …from CBS 42, Chick-fil-A Birmingham, and Medical Properties Trust! Together we’re giving back to the community, supporting our local schools, and making a difference One Class at a Time.