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Foundation Awards Over $26,000 in Grants to Beaufort County Teachers

This year, perhaps more than ever, teachers are looking for creative and innovative ways to bring learning to LIFE in their schools and classrooms. After a year of hybrid learning, its vital to instill in today’s students the joys and excitement of education again. But often a lack of funding gets in the way.



In mid-November, the Foundation awarded 13 Innovative Teacher Grants and 6 School Resource Grants to teachers across Beaufort County from 14 different schools. These grants totaling over $26,000 were awarded to teachers and schools for innovative learning opportunities and projects that go beyond the regular school district budget.

The Foundation for Educational Excellence began giving the Innovative Teacher and School Resources grants in 2009 to help bridge the gap between funding and teacher’s projects.


“This year’s grants will provide individual learning opportunities for almost 7,000 Beaufort County students this year with some projects providing multi-year experiences,” said Michel Claudio, Innovative Grants Chair and Foundation Board Member.


Impacting students from elementary through high school, this year’s projects range from producing a musical to creating a South Carolina fence garden and from cooking classes for Special Education high school students to a composting program at Bluffton Elementary School. Each one of these projects encourages hands on learning experiences for the students – helping them to see that learning can be fun.


Her project funded by the Foundation last year went so well that Peggy Dumler, a teacher from Robert Smalls International Academy in Beaufort, decided to apply for a grant through the Foundation again this year. And Peggy received a grant for the second year in a row to continue a program made possible last year through a Foundation grant that enabled students at RSIA to establish a pen pal relationship with students in Kenya. Her project this year, entitled Global Understanding – It’s a Small World Part 2, will build upon last year’s program by adding a shared literature experience for the students in both Beaufort and Kenya.


A project that will have a lasting impact on students’ future careers, “Can You Hear Me Now?” was submitted by Jennifer Calcorzi and Chelsey Bates at Beaufort Jasper Academy for Career Excellence (ACE). In the EMS and Health Sciences Programs at ACE, students are being prepared to enter the work force with certifications in Emergency Medical Services, Certified Nursing Assistants or utilizing these courses as a pathway into other healthcare fields. The grant will help to purchase heart and lung torso mannequins that will give students an opportunity to experience simulated training to both certify and prepare students to enter the healthcare industry with the necessary skills.


Here is the entire list of grant recipients for Fall 2021, or you can view the video below the list:

The Foundation would like to thank our individual donors and other local charities that help to make these grants possible: The Bargain Box of Hilton Head, Friends of Callawassie Island, the Italian-American Club of Hilton Head, Moss Creek Charitable Fund and Women In Philanthropy of Hilton Head.