Each year Impact Grants help teachers in Cherokee County by awarding up to $2,500 per classroom for those who are selected. In the past, Impact Grant recipients have been able to fund innovative projects in their classrooms and provide needed supplies for their students. We are very excited to continue highlighting some of the amazing things being done by this year's grant recipients, Angela Topper and Jim Elder
The Cherokee County Educational Foundation surprised 21 teachers with Classroom Impact Grants, which ended up totaling $40,000 for this school year. Since its inception in 2012, the CCEF has helped award over $1 million to ensure excellence in Cherokee County classrooms. CCEF Executive Director, Lisa Marie Haygood, calls this year's Impact Grants a tremendous success, saying, "we continue to celebrate the innovation we see in our teachers, students, and community."
Ukuleles for U and Me – Oak Grove STEAM Elementary
Elementary students at Oak Grove will now be pushing their musical talents even further with the Ukulele! Angela Topper, music teacher at Oak Grove, will be using the ukulele as a way to introduce students to stringed instruments! Ukuleles are perfectly sized for elementary students and use nylon strings which can be gentler for beginners' fingertips.
Ms. Topper hopes that since these instruments have fewer strings than a guitar and many of the same finger patterns, students can transfer their skills to other stringed instruments down the road. Teachers that bring ukuleles in the classroom often find they are a great way to practice as a solo instrument and can be implemented into group settings too!
Oak Grove students will now find themselves putting their knowledge of singing, rhythm, composition, and ensemble skills to the test with ukuleles.
Jim Elder of Mill Creek Middle School receiving his 2022 Impact Grant
Heart Rate Sensors – Mill Creek Middle School
Physical education is more than just a game of dodgeball, and Jim Elder is bringing technology and cardiovascular study together at Mill Creek Middle School. Mr. Elder is using heart rate sensors in P.E. to help analyze and comprehend the effects of physical activity on the body and the cardiovascular system. With these sensors, students will be able to understand safe exercise and aerobic pace while in class.
With his 2022 Impact Grant, Mr. Elder will utilize heart rate sensors for every student to use to safely and properly exercise. He believes no student should be working out without proper knowledge of heart rate. These heart rate sensors can record data and create FIT plans for each individual student, allowing for a safe approach to physical activity. The sensors will be able to display heart rate, activity type, and are color coordinated for easy use.
These wrist heart rate sensors are super easy to use, and help incorporate technology into physical education for all grades at Mill Creek Middle School.
How to Apply
Applications for Classroom Impact Grants open in November and are available for funding up to $2,500 per classroom. A committee of at least five judges grade the applications individually and the scores are compiled and ranked to decide which teachers are awarded grants. The number of grants awarded each year depends on fundraising efforts at the annual Celebration of Education Gala, check out last year's gala here! For more information on how you can donate to the next Impact Grant, check out the CCEF's Grants page for further details.