Foundation surprises teachers with cash grants

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Surprised by balloons and oversized checks, 16 Beaufort County public school teachers from 12 schools learned recently that they had won Innovative Teacher Grants from the Foundation for Educational Excellence, a fund of the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry.

The 16 grants announced ranged from $115 to $500 and totaled more than $5,300. Foundation officials visited teachers’ classrooms to deliver the news in person.

“We’re privileged to recognize and reward teachers who approach their work in such creative ways,” said Peggy May, the foundation’s chair.  “The big winners, of course, are the students who benefit from these innovative classroom projects.”

The application that garnered the highest score from the judges came from St. Helena Elementary School teacher Eve Weaver, whose “Magnificent Magnetic Math” project was awarded the Dr. Valerie Truesdale Innovative Teacher Grant of $500.

The Foundation for Educational Excellence Fund was established in 2007, and the first grants were awarded in 2009.  The primary function of the foundation is to raise funds for teacher grants that spur innovation. Grants of up to $500 are awarded twice each year, and thousands of students have benefitted since 2009.  The Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

Innovative Teacher Grants (fall awards cycle) were awarded to these teachers in schools north of the Broad River:

• Kathryn Glaze (Shanklin Elementary): “The Science of Leadership,” $257.17

• Helen Goodman (Okatie Elementary): “Read More Non Fiction,” $497.61

• Danielle Hunt (Okatie Elementary, ELA): “A Bird’s-Eye View,” $121

• Lynda Jernigan and Renee Roberts (Coosa Elementary): “All About Content: Connecting Content and Literacy Through Literacy Informational Alphabet Books,” $390.11

• Julie LaGrone (Beaufort Elementary): “Top Dog Reading Competition,”  $304.82

• Kelly Pulaske (Coosa Elementary, Grade 2): “Folktales: A Cultural Teaching Tool,”  $170.89

• Alicia Weaver (H.E. McCracken Middle, Grade 9): “We are Readers of Common Core + Non-Fiction,” $494.60

• Eve Weaver (St. Helena Elementary, Grade 2): “Magnificent Magnetic Math,” $479.80

• Christine Whiteleather (Battery Creek High, Grade 12): “Senior Career Portfolio,” $114.70.