Orrville teacher selected for Riley Scholarship

Published 10:12 pm Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Karen S. Grimes, a librarian at Salem Elementary School in Orrville, is one of the five teachers honored by the Alabama Humanities Foundation with the Jenice Riley Memorial Scholarship.

The $1,000 award will enable the school to partner with the Black Belt Treasures Cultural Arts Center in Camden and allow the center’s best teaching artists to come to Salem Elementary and integrate history with the visual arts, literature and everyday life in their interactions with students.

The initiative will bring the history and culture of the Black Belt to life at the small Dallas County school. As a result, students will be exposed to the richness and diversity of the region’s heritage.

In the program, called “Making Our Way Through Black Belt History,” students will learn and be inspired by the work of some of the Black Belt’s best-known artists, including the work of the internationally-renowned quilters of Gee’s Bend, nationally-known folk artists Bill Traylor and Mose Tolliver, as well as study the work of critically-acclaimed three-dimensional artist Charlie Lucas.

Created in memory of the late Jenice Riley, the scholarship recognizes educators who share her extraordinary commitment to enhancing the quality of education in Alabama. Daughter of former Alabama Governor and First Lady Bob and Patsy Riley, Jenice had a passion for teaching and fostered creativity and a desire to learn in her students. She encouraged parent involvement and actively promoted better educational programs in her community.

The $1,000 scholarship is awarded to K-6 educators in support of history and civics-related projects in their schools and classrooms. The award aids teachers in attending a conference, purchasing classroom materials or creating programs that enhance students’ understanding of history and civics.