The Cherokee County Educational Foundation on Friday, Feb. 13, 2015 surprised Cherokee County School District teachers and students with a total of $15,000 awarded through its second annual round of competitive IMPACT Grants.
The grants will fund projects ranging from a StoryCorps-inspired media center recording studio to archive a high school community’s oral histories to mobile gardening labs for first- and second-graders to learn about science (and to love vegetables) to equipping an elementary school with a 3D printer so students can see their engineering designs come to life!
Cherokee County Educational Foundation Board Secretary Amanda Arnold said the day of surprise “Prize Patrol”-style grant presentations with oversized checks, balloons, bouquets of flowers and cheering crowds of students is the “highlight of the year” for the Board.
“It’s so inspiring to read the grant applications and realize the creativity and dedication of the teachers in CCSD classrooms… and it’s incredibly fulfilling to make those visions become reality through these grants,” said Ms. Arnold, who represents Credit Union of Georgia on the Board. “We appreciate every donation the Foundation has received, as it allows us to show schools, teachers and students how much the community cares about them.”
The grant application process was open to individual CCSD teachers, paraprofessionals and school staff; teams of CCSD teachers, paraprofessionals and school staff; CCSD administrators; or CCSD department heads.
Through public support, the Foundation offers IMPACT Grants of as much as $2,500 per winning proposal, and on Friday eight grants were awarded; a ninth grant to be awarded later this month will bring the total to $15,000… which is an increase from $10,000 awarded last school year.
A committee made up of Foundation Board members reviewed the applications and selected proposals they determined would best strengthen academics; demonstrate a creative and innovative approach to education; provide meaningful and engaging instruction for students; and have a long-term benefit.
The 2015 IMPACT Grants presented on Friday are:
Avery ESBringing Movement to Math - $2,399.40, Teachers Tori Sinco and Ashley West
Canton ES STEM AcademyFlash Force 3D Engineering - $1,425, Teachers Daniel Cornn, Emma Griffin and Judy Wright
Johnston ESWalking Track -- $1,325, Principal Kathleen Chandler and teacher Julie Peppers
Mill Creek MSPaper & Tape Festival -- $1,880, Teacher Becky Stodola
River Ridge HSRiver Ridge Recording Studio - $1,900, Media Specialists Keara Rubin and Leslie O’Bryant
Woodstock ESGardening with First and Second Graders - $802.98, Teacher Debby Pinion
Oak Grove ES Fine Arts AcademyHomework Help -- $685, Teachers Kristin Guinther and Lisa Reidy
Clark Creek ES STEM AcademySMArTE Space - $2,500, Media Specialist Madeline Hall
Copies of the winning grant proposals are available electronically from CCEF for anyone who wants to learn more about them. As part of the process, winners will be required to submit a report sharing details about the success of their project funded by the grant.
Since 2013, the Foundation has awarded more than $45,000 in grants to CCSD schools, teachers and students.
The Foundation raises funds for these initiatives through sources including its annual “For the Love of Education” T-shirt sale, CCEF Golf Classic Tournament and the inaugural “Celebration of Education” Gala, which will be held on March 14.
[caption id="attachment_607" align="aligncenter" width="600"] AVERY ES: Avery Elementary School teachers Tori Sinco, left, and Ashley West, fourth from left, accept a $2,399.40 IMPACT Grant from the Cherokee County Educational Foundation for their ‘Bringing Movement to Math’ idea to combine math and fun physical activity across the two grades they teach – kindergarten and fifth. Celebrating with them are CCEF Board Members, from left to right, Fundraising Chairman Kevin Williams, Vice President Billy Hayes, Colleen Blackwell, Debbie Rabjohn and Rod Drake.
[caption id="attachment_609" align="aligncenter" width="600"] CLARK CREEK ES STEM ACADEMY: Clark Creek ES STEM Academy Media Specialist Madeline Hall, right, gets a congratulatory hug from Principal Dr. Jennifer Scrivner for winning a $2,500 CCEF IMPACT Grant to create a STEM and art-inspired lab in the media center.
[caption id="attachment_610" align="aligncenter" width="600"] JOHNSTON ES: Johnston Elementary School teacher Julie Peppers, second from left, accepts a $1,325 CCEF IMPACT Grant for the school’s planned walking track.
[caption id="attachment_612" align="aligncenter" width="600"] RIVER RIDGE HS: River Ridge HS Media Specialist Keara Rubin, third from left, hugs Ms. Rabjohn upon learning that she and colleague Leslie O’Bryant, second from left, won a $1,900 CCEF IMPACT Grant for their media center recording studio project.
[caption id="attachment_608" align="aligncenter" width="600"] CANTON ES STEM ACADEMY: Canton Elementary School STEM Academy teachers won a $1,425 CCEF IMPACT Grant for a Flash Force 3D Engineering project. Celebrating the donation are, from left to right, CCEF Board Member Rod Drake, teacher David Cornn, Board Members Colleen Blackwell, Debbie Rabjohn and Kevin Williams and teachers Judy Wright and Emma Griffin.
[caption id="attachment_613" align="aligncenter" width="600"] WOODSTOCK ES: Woodstock Elementary School teacher Debby Pinion, right, shows her delight upon winning a CCEF IMPACT Grant for her idea to create mobile gardening labs for first- and second-graders.
[caption id="attachment_611" align="aligncenter" width="600"] OAK GROVE ES FINE ARTS ACADEMY: Oak Grove Elementary School Fine Arts Academy teachers Kristin Guinther and Lisa Reidy hug upon learning they won a CCEF IMPACT Grant for their Homework Help program.
[caption id="attachment_606" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Mill Creek MS: From left to right, Cherokee County Educational Foundation Board Secretary Amanda Arnold and Board Member Colleen Blackwell applaud Mill Creek Middle School teacher Becky Stodola, as Board Member Debbie Rabjohn and students cheer her on for winning a $1,880 IMPACT Grant to expand her annual Paper & Tape Festival. The Foundation on Friday, Feb. 13, surprised teachers and schools throughout the Cherokee County School District with a total of $15,000 in grants for “bright ideas.”