ACES Gifted teacher receives MPE grant

Angela Dickerson, a 2nd-6th grade gifted teacher at Alcorn Central Elementary, recently received a classroom grant from the Mississippi Professional Educators (MPE). MPE awards up to $40,000 in classroom grants to MPE members who wish to enhance instructional offerings or educational experiences for their students each year. This year MPE awarded 44 classroom grants across the state. Mrs. Dickerson was 1 of those 44 recipients!

Because Mrs. Dickerson was awarded this grant, ACES Gifted students in grades 2-6 will become avid gardeners and scientists. They will plant seedlings in a hydroponic planter, aquaponic planter, and a traditional raised bed with soil. Students will hypothesize which type of garden will grow vegetables best and record data from each type of garden. Each grade will be responsible for taking care of different aspects of the gardens such as checking PH levels in the hydroponic garden, measuring height of plants, and harvesting. Students will also see the "fruits" of their labor by watching plants that they nurture grow right before their eyes! Students used their bountiful harvest as a service project. They served up a fresh organic salad bar for teachers and staff as a culminating activity.

Mrs. Dickerson’s students began the MPE grant sponsored vegetable project in the Fall of 2023. After the completion of the vegetable phase, students then will repeat the project but with flower seedlings. Students will pick the flowers and hand them out for teacher appreciation week in May.

Founded in 1979, MPE is a statewide professional association with approximately 13,000 teachers, administrators and non-certified staff from kindergarten to graduate school level. The top priority of the MDE is the education and achievement of students.

Educators who seek out non-traditional funding opportunities, such as this MPE Grant, are a wonderful example of how our district tries to #LearnLeadEXCEL in all we do! The ASD is grateful to Mrs. Dickerson for the effort she put towards securing this grant and performing these projects with our students.

For more information on MPE’s classroom grant program and other benefits for educators, please visit