The Foundation for Educational Excellence awarded 20 Innovative Teacher Grants and 4 School Resource Grants this week to teachers across Beaufort County from 15 different schools. These grants totaling over $29,000 were awarded to teachers and schools for innovative learning opportunities and projects that go beyond the regular school district budget.
“The Foundation is thrilled that this year’s grants will provide individual learning opportunities for almost 5,000 Beaufort County students,” stated Michel Claudio, Innovative Grants Chair and Foundation Board Member. “Students across the district ranging from early education through high school will benefit from this year’s funding.”
Projects funded by the Foundation this year range from purchasing materials for sensory bins for early education learners to building pickleball courts for Middle Schoolers and providing funds for a printmaking press for High School students.
Pritchardville Elementary School teacher Nancy Frigon received a grant for her project “Let’s Code with Micro:bits.” The funds will go towards the purchase of Micro:bits, credit card sized computers that integrate both hardware and software. Using these Micro:bits, students will be able to code a tool like a thermometer or barometer that can be used to determine the current weather conditions.
At Hilton Head High School, Science teacher, Robert Stine, received funding for his project “A More Rigorous Approach to Environmental Sciences.” Through this project, the school will be able to add a laboratory component that incorporates basic chemistry and physics for Environmental Science students. These labs will align with traditional Environmental Science topics such as atmospheric and water pollution, energy production, nutrient cycling, and natural resources. These lab additions will make the course more rigorous yet more fun for the students enrolled in these courses. The funds will allow for the purchase of items which can be used to demonstrate principles of waves, light, sound, chemical reactions, electrostatics, and mechanical energy. And the materials can be used for many years to come.
Whale Branch Elementary School second grade students will now have the opportunity to participate in Yoga classes thanks to Kendra Coffey Batson’s project entitled “Mindfulness and Meditation Yoga Mats.” The grant money provided by the Foundation will help provide safe and comfortable space for instruction. This will allow students to participate in mindfulness exercises to increase social-emotional outcomes, lower the need for disciplinary actions and encourage resilience resulting in positive impacts on the students’ overall well-being and academic performance.
Karen Perdue, the IB/GT Coordinator and STEM/Robotics lead teacher at Hilton Head Island Elementary School, was awarded a School Resource Grant for her project entitled “EV3 Lego Robotics for Competitions.” With the grant money, the school will be able to purchase three VEX robotics kits. This new equipment will allow for Robotics to be expanded to a wider range of students as well as allow Robotics to be offered as a specials class in the future instead of just a club offering.
“The Foundation’s Board loves to see the impact that these projects have on the future generations in our community through the initiative and creativity of these amazing teachers,” stated Lisa Carroll, Foundation Board Chair. “It is our honor to be able to make projects possible through the funding of these grants.”
The grant recipients for Fall 2022 are listed below:
The Foundation for Educational Excellence raises funds to support the mission and goals of the Beaufort County School District by furthering student instructional activities and projects through Innovative Teacher Grants, Innovative School Resource Grants and Student Enrichment Grants. Established in 2007, the Foundation awarded its first grants in 2009 and has awarded over $325,000 in grants to the teachers and students in the public school system since its inception benefitting thousands of students across the county each year.
Grants are applied for and awarded once a year. Projects are chosen on their merit by board members of the Foundation. Innovative Teacher Grants are for learning experiences above and beyond the normal classroom like science projects, arts performances, and robotic materials and provide unique learning opportunities that are not funded through traditional budgets. Innovative School Resource Grants are for innovative instructional school-wide projects. These grants help spark the imaginations of students to create a life-long interest in learning. Often these grant awards provide multi-year learning impact.
The Foundation is supported by individual donations and these local charities: The Bargain Box of Hilton Head, Friends of Callawassie Island, Italian-American Club of Hilton Head, Moss Creek Charitable Fund and Women In Philanthropy of Hilton Head. We are grateful for their ongoing support of our work.
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