Updated: Jan 14, 2019
BEAUFORT CO., S.C. – Board members, donors and volunteers from The Foundation for Educational Excellence surprised faculty members from 15 different schools across Beaufort County recently with balloons and oversized checks as they awarded the teachers the Foundation’s Innovative Teacher Grants for Fall 2018.
These 19 grants totaling more than $14,000, will impact students through the district in classes ranging from early childhood centers through high school. Some of the projects funded this year include outdoor fitness stations, 3-D anatomical models, photography equipment and supplies for creating a school-wide composting initiative.
This grant cycle was partially funded by generous contributions from The Bargain Box, the Friends of Callawassie Island, the Rotary Club of Okatie and the Foundation’s major fundraiser, “Jewels and Jeans.” The event is held each spring and offers an opportunity for attendees to “Fund-a-Grant” by pledging money towards partial funding of the Foundation’s grants. Two grants for aeronautics projects at River Ridge Academy were funded through a private donation.
Agata Marzec, an English teacher at May River High School, was awarded a grant for her project “Sensory Wonder: Creating a Tactile-Audio Illustrated Book for Learners with a Visual Impairment.” This grant will allow her students to enhance their creative writing skills, while simultaneously raising their awareness of the needs of learners with a visual impairment and learning the principles of Braille. The final product will enter the international Typhlo & Tactus Tactile Illustrated Book Prize competition in Belgium, October 2019. The winning book will be then translated into multiple languages and published internationally.
Hilton Head Island IB Elementary teachers Smita Dadheech and Shari Harshman were excited to receive funding for their grant project, “West African Drumming.” The grant money will go towards hiring an artist in residence for one week to teach the fifth-grade students about West African drumming, while giving them an opportunity to make connections to the American history they study in fifth grade. This experience will expose students to the music, culture, language, and customs of various West African countries.
Alissa Stripling, a Numeracy Coach at Lady’s Island Elementary, received a grant for her project “Engineering is Elementary – Evaluating a Landscape.” Through this grant, students will have the opportunity to dig into the role of geotechnical engineers where they must select a safe, flood-proof, and erosion-proof location for a new TarPul by working with a model riverbank to study soil properties and examine maps to assess the potential for erosion at different sites along the river.
“We always look forward to grant season,” says Susan Hughson, Foundation Board Member and Grant Chair. “It's great to see the wide range of ideas that come from our teachers across the district. We are happy to be able to contribute to bringing fun and innovative projects to life for over 3,000 students with these grants.”