Foundation awards grants to local teachers

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Board members, donors and volunteers from The Foundation for Educational Excellence surprised faculty members from 15 different schools across Beaufort County last week 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 throughout 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 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 toward partial funding of the Foundation’s grants. Two grants for aeronautics projects at River Ridge Academy were funded through a private donation.

Among the many awards, 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.”

The grant recipients for Fall 2018 are listed below:

  • David Shervin, Beaufort HS: Anatomy Models for 3D Learning 
  • Melissale Rivera, Joseph Shanklin Elementary: Who Are the People in Our Neighborhood?
  • Jennifer Friend-Kerr, HHI Creative Arts: Thinking in the Third Dimension Agata Marzec, May River HS: Sensory Wonder — Tactile Audio Illustrated Book
  • Bree Lauffer and 3 others, Okatie Elementary: What Goes Around, Comes a Round
  • Sandra Courtney, HHI Creative Arts: Breakout of the Ordinary with an Exciting Escape
  • Christine Warner and Emma Young, Coosa Elementary: Baillie Players Mentorship Program
  • Harry T. Smith, Lady’s Island Elementary: Mathletics
  • John Cullinen, Battery Creek HS: Digital Instruction by Students for Students
  • Eric Mohrman, River Ridge Academy: Flying High with Hot Air Balloons
  • Alissa Stripling, Lady’s Island Elementary: Engineering is Elementary — Evaluating a Landscape
  • Barry Swindler, Beaufort HS: Using Motion to Learn
  • Eric Mohrman and Marlayna Tracy, River Ridge Academy: Young Astronauts Rocketing into Space
  • Denise Bell, HHI IB Elementary: Where in the World…?
  • Sandra Viskovich and 5 others, Red Cedar Elementary: PBL is Going Green in Kindergarten
  • Joseph Evenden and Rebekah Foster, Lady’s Island MS: Robotics is the Future
  • Matthew Pheiffer and John Wyatt, Hilton Head Island HS: Outdoor Fitness Station
  • Jana Goodwin Shea, H.E. McCracken MS: Modeling the Physics of Roller Coasters
  • Smita Dadheech and Shari Harshman, HHI IB Elementary: West African Drumming

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