Cherokee County Educational Foundation     

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CCEF Awards $33,000 in Classroom Impact Grants: Grant Highlights

The Cherokee County Educational Foundation was delighted to award 23 teachers in the Cherokee County School District with Classroom Impact Grants, totaling over $33,000 for the 2023-2024 school year! 

This year's judges included Whitney Spear of History Cherokee, Lori Burton, Cherokee County Council President of PTA, Jenny Spain, a retired CCSD school teacher, Shuntel Beach, Board of Directors member at REACH Foundation, and Dr. Gary Sullenger of Life University. The number of grants awarded each year depends on the fundraising efforts at the Annual Celebration of Education Gala.

Below, we highlight some of the remarkable projects supported by this year's impact grants to enhance educational initiatives in Cherokee County. 

Project BOOM! – RM Moore Elementary School STEM Academy

As a published composer and arranger for RowLoff Productions, contributing author to Quaver Music's online curriculum, and music specialist at RM Moore Elementary School STEM Academy, Mr. Ben Sexton is embracing a project-based learning approach with Project BOOM (Building Our Own Music). This initiative teaches students the three components of reading, composing, and performing their original music, aligned with the Georgia Standards of Excellence, through a hands-on, project-based approach. The program utilizes African drums (djembe and djun-djun) for rhythmic performance and composition, and Orff mallet instruments (glockenspiel, metallophone, and xylophone) for melodic performance and composition.

With the funds provided by the Classroom Impact Grant, Mr. Sexton will achieve three main goals within Project BOOM:

  1. Provide direct access to instrumental music instruction for all students at RM Moore Elementary School STEM Academy.
  2. Enable 90% of students to compose and notate at least one original song.
  3. Have 80% of students perform their songs in a public setting.

We can't wait to see how Project BOOM makes an impact on RM Moore music students going forward! 

Whiteboard Tables for Math Class – Creekland Middle School

As a Special Education Math teacher with experience teaching all levels of understanding, Carla Miles knows that student engagement is crucial, especially in a co-taught setting. With her Classroom Impact Grant, she will provide whiteboard tables for her co-taught math classroom to increase student achievement, encourage organizational and operational effectiveness, and maintain a positive culture and climate for both Special Education and Regular Education students.

Ms. Miles states, "I have found one of the BEST practices for math is to have students show what they know. Students will rise to the occasion, especially when using whiteboards to show work." She hopes the incorporation of whiteboard tables will enhance the co-teaching experience in her middle school math classroom.

Trombones! – Woodstock Middle School

At Woodstock Middle School, Assistant Band Director Justin Norton is committed to providing quality instruments to 6th-8th grade students in need. With the current instrument inventory depleted due to the age of some instruments, Mr. Norton will use the Classroom Impact Grant to provide students who cannot afford to rent an instrument with a school instrument to learn on. Currently, Woodstock Middle School borrows trombones from Woodstock High School to ensure there are enough for every student wishing to learn the instrument.

With his Classroom Impact Grant, Mr. Norton will be able to provide enough trombones for students without borrowing from another school, allowing those who cannot afford an instrument rental fee to use a school trombone. This will benefit not only 6th, 7th, and 8th grade trombone players but also the entire Woodstock Middle School band by freeing up band funds for other needs and allowing trombone players to participate in school and community concerts.

These are just a few of the educational projects made possible by the 2024 Classroom Impact Grants in Cherokee County Schools. With 23 grants awarded this year, educational programs like these are spread throughout the county, creating monumental impacts on students, faculty, and the Cherokee County community.

Make sure you sign up for CCEF's monthly newsletter to stay updated on all things CCEF. We'll be covering more Impact Grant information as the next application period opens on July 1st and closes on August 31st – a perfect time to get ready for the upcoming school year! 

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