Lights! Camera! Action!



As everyone knows, a good education is not free. Just ask Hannah Rodgers of Riverchase Middle School. As a seasoned teacher of 17 years, she knows it takes a lot to put together a good program. That’s where the WIAT One Class At A Time grant comes in, helping hardworking teachers fund the little extras that can make a big difference. For Rogers, it begins with lights.

For the first time, Riverchase is offering a drama class for seventh and eighth graders. This meant starting from scratch and asking for donations from friends and fellow teachers. Many came forward with rugs, lamps and props, but Mrs. Rodgers had her heart set on stage lights. Her wish was fulfilled when the Little Caesar’s mascot showed up at school to present her with a certificate and a check for $1,000. She didn’t waste any time getting the lights set up, thanks to her husband, also a teacher at the school, who built the structure for the lights and put them in place. Now room B-16 is looking more like a theater.

Some of the grant money will also be spent on scripts and sound equipment. The class is currently working on monologues which they will present in October, along with a few teachers who stepped up to the challenge and will be performing, also. During the last part of the semester students will be working on two-person scenes. This is just a stepping stone for those interested in the dramatic arts, but thanks to WIAT and the diligence of a caring teacher, some of these students are one step closer to their goal.

In addition to teaching drama, ESL, English, and social studies, Rodgers is also involved in the Junior United Nations Assembly. She earned her Master’s degree from UAB, and in addition to teaching in Shelby County, she spent three years teaching overseas.


Author: Angie Bell

Angie Bell is a freelance writer, photographer and substitute teacher. You can read her blog at, follow her on Twitter @Bella5804, or contact her at

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