The Cherokee County Educational Foundation on Friday, Feb. 12, 2016 surprised Cherokee County School District teachers and students with a record total of $25,000 awarded through its third annual round of competitive IMPACT Grants.
The grants, which represent a significant increase from the $15,000 awarded last school year, will fund 13 innovative projects. Products will range from a desktop mill, so high school students can machine parts for robots they design, to a writing program for elementary school students that uses Lego block sets to spark creative storytelling.
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.
“Every year around Valentine’s Day, our hearts are filled, as we show CCSD schools, teachers and students how much the community loves them,” said Ms. Arnold, who represents Credit Union of Georgia on the Board. “We received more than 40 outstanding applications this year, and each one was inspiring, as they illustrated how much more teachers would do in their classrooms if additional grant funding was available.”
Since 2013, the Foundation has awarded more than $115,000 in grants to CCSD schools, teachers and students. The Foundation’s mission is to raise awareness, funding and resources to enrich CCSD schools in areas not fully funded in the regular school program. It raises funds through sources including its annual CCEF T-shirt sale, CCEF Golf Classic Tournament; and the CCEF “Celebration of Education” Gala, which will be held on March 12; and as the main beneficiary of the Chick-fil-A Connect Race Series 5K and Fun Run in Canton, which will be held on August 6.
Through public support, CCEF offers IMPACT Grants of as much as $2,500 per winning proposal. The grant application process is open to individual CCSD teachers, paraprofessionals and school staff; teams of CCSD teachers, paraprofessionals and school staff; CCSD administrators; or CCSD department heads. Foundation Board members review the applications and select proposals they determine will 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 2016 IMPACT Grants presented on Friday are:
Arnold Mill ES“Learning in Action”, $664.69, Teacher Deb Havens
Boston ES“A Makerspace Can Produce Future Leaders”, $1,941.45, Teacher Susan Stringfellow
Canton ES STEM Academy“Code and Play the Sphero Way”, $2,379.80, Teachers David Cornn and Dr. Judy Wright
Canton ES STEM Academy“Readers Workshop Books”, $2,500, Teacher Heather Eastridge
Etowah HS“Desktop CNC Mill for Robotics”, $2,199, Teacher Josh Farrell
Holly Springs ES STEM Academy“Going Digital - Transitioning from Paper to Digital”, $2,500, Teacher Lauren Pittman
Indian Knoll ES“Lego Storytellers”, $1,364.95, Teacher Marissa Williams
Oak Grove ES Fine Arts Academy“Kindling a Bright Future”, $2,159.78, Teachers Jenny Bickerstaff and Lindsay White
Oak Grove ES Fine Arts Academy“Homework Help Kindle Project”, $290.33, Teacher Lisa Reidy
R.M. Moore ES“Standing Desks for Resource Classroom”, $2,500, Teacher Susan Lumpkin
Teasley MS“Camp Teasley”, $1,500, Assistant Principal Dr. Chris Garity
Woodstock ES“Active Students Are Engaged Students”, $2,500, Teacher Kristy Gibbs
Woodstock MS“WOLF – Working on Literacy Fundamentals”, $2,500, Teacher Rosa Frederick
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.