FORT MILL — Students in schools around the Fort Mill School District will benefit from grants handed out this year by the Foundation for Fort Mill Schools. The foundation awarded 15 grants valued at $750 each to teachers with creative classroom project ideas and initiatives that exceed the funding abilities of the school district.
“With budget cuts it is harder for the teachers to get some of the extra things they need in the classroom,” said foundation director Caryn Scroggs. “The district is very good at getting them everything they need but it’s hard to find funds for some of the newer stuff that’s out there."
Among the grant recipients were Lauren Crawford, a sixth grade science teacher at Fort Mill Middle, and Christina Ashburn, a sixth grade science teacher at Banks Trail Middle. They plan to use the grant money on a project called “Discovering Energy Transformations with Elenco Snap Circuit Kits.”
“The project will help students understand how energy is transformed from one form to another,” according to their grant proposal.
The kits have 300 devices students can make.
At Sugar Creek Elementary School, Gina Kidd, Title 1 Math Specialist, and Susan Balsinger, Title 1 Reading Specialist, plan to join forces to integrate mathematics and literature. They hope to give students a better understanding of math concepts and improve their critical thinking skills by giving students “integration kits.”
“Each kit will contain copies of literature titles, math manipulatives to address the standard, and a description of how to use the book and manipulatives. This allows teachers to focus on math standards that students find difficult in a fun, hands-on way using quality literature,” according to their grant proposal.
Fort Mill High School teachers Beverly DeMayo, special education, Bethann Rohaly, High School 101, and Ellen Richardson, special education, also received a grant.
Their grant, “We ALL need to MOVE! Building Healthy Bodies, Minds and Emotions through Physical Activity,” will promote physically active lifestyles among students and staff. Equipment purchased with the grant will also be available to other high school staff.
The Foundation for Fort Mill Schools was established in 2003 with the goal of helping promote and enhance academic programs in Fort Mill schools. Awarding grants to educators is an annual effort for the foundation. The foundation also has several academic scholarships it awards to students each year and provides professional development awards to help pay for special training for teachers.
The foundation operates on donated funds, Scroggs said.