Darlington County Education Foundation awards nearly $10,000 in grants to teachers

Bethany Perry at North Hartsville Elementary School received a $500 grant for “Printmaking without the Press” Photo by Melissa Rollins

Last week, the Darlington County Education Foundation (DCEF) awarded nearly $10,000 in grants that will benefit more than a dozen teachers and 2,600 students across the Darlington County School District.

Andrea Pulling, director of the DCEF, and DCEF board members surprised those teachers in their classrooms, marking another exciting year of grant presentations. This year, the DCEF awarded 12 grants totaling $9,988.55.

After an application period earlier this year, the DCEF awarded grants to teachers at eight different schools to fund a variety of projects including the purchase of alternative seating options, software designed for engineers and scientists, a mobile language technology lab, materials for students to gain skills in coding, non-fiction materials and guidance materials.

“The highlight of being the executive director of the Darlington County Education Foundation is the experience of awarding grants to teachers that work hard every day for our children,” Pulling said. “The excitement the teachers and principals express when they learn they have been awarded a grant demonstrates their passion for the students in the Darlington County School District.”

Jerry Cheatham, president of the DCEF, said the foundation is honored to support teachers and their classrooms.

“We were very pleased to be able to provide financial support for projects that help motivate teachers and enrich the educational experience of our students,” Cheatham said.

The DCEF received funding for the grants from sponsors for the “Go Big Hartsville” event, which was held on April 14 in Hartsville. The event was a reunion for the town and provided a platform to highlight the work of the DCEF.

The grants awarded by the DCEF for 2018 are:
• Frank O’Shea at Darlington High School – $209.69 for “Seats for Success” will provide alternative seating options for students at Darlington High School. The seating options will help keep students focused and on task.
• Bert Cook at Mayo High School for Math, Science and Technology – $500 for “MATLAB Matters” will purchase software that provides a platform for engineers and scientists. Students at Mayo High School for Math, Science and Technology will complete various labs throughout the school year.
• Angel Moronta, Christy Burgess, Brandi Stewart, Oscar Betancur, Zheng Cui at Hartsville High School (The Foreign Language Department) – $2,289 for “A Lab in the Class: A Technology Mobile” will provide students taking Spanish, French and Chinese at Hartsville High School access to real linguistic, culturally spoken and written products in foreign languages.
• Dustin Moree at North Hartsville Elementary School – $500 for “4th and 5th Grade Musical.” This grant provides money for fourth and fifth graders at North Hartsville Elementary to present a full-length musical to their peers and parents.
• Miller Thompson at Darlington Middle School – $950 for “Let’s Get Vertical” will provide vertical learning space for mathematic students at Darlington Middle School. The grant provides money to purchase mobile, reversible white boards for students to work in the classroom. Research shows that vertical space engages students more effectively than horizontal space.
• Keri Horton, autism facilitator with the Darlington County School District – $1,000.54 for “Social Skills for Life.” This is a district wide project that will address the major area of weakness that is dominant in the disability category of autism. The project will allow there to be a library of materials which can be checked out to teachers throughout the district to aide the students in the development of appropriate social skills.
• Laura Matthews at Carolina Elementary School – $1,557.29 for “Carolina Code Slayers” will allow the media center and computer lab to work together to provide coding opportunities for students. It will be a school-wide project at Carolina Elementary School. Students will gain skills in coding, robotics, problem solving and collaboration.
• Kelley Israel at Southside Early Childhood Center – $725 for “Learning to Read” is a project to help autistic students at Southside Early Childhood Center. The project will supplement their reading and speech development by providing a multi-sensory approach.
• Holly Shirey at Pate Elementary School – $453.89 for “Searching for Information” will provide first graders at Pate Elementary School with engaging non-fiction texts and magazines. Research suggests that early access to non-fiction literature will provide the keys to success later in school.
• Bethany Perry at North Hartsville Elementary School – $500 for “Printmaking without the Press” is a project to make a printmaking experience for all of the children at North Hartsville Elementary School. Gelli plates and brayers will be used to allow students to explore a monoprintmaking technique.
• Melissa Morris at Pate Elementary School – $628.14 for “Math & Literature – Engagement & Delight” will provide a collection of math literature texts to first and second grade students at Pate Elementary School. The titles will enhance math lessons and provide opportunities for students to make connections and have meaningful discussions with their mathematics learning.
• Calandra Sheriod at Southside Early Childhood Center – $675 for “The ‘Guidance’ Light” will provide guidance materials (library, toys, supplies and tools) for play therapy and social-emotional learning for all students at Southside Early Childhood Center. Students will acquire knowledge, skills and attitudes that contribute to effective learning in school and across the life span.
Founded in 1998 by parents, business partners and community leaders, the DCEF is “determined to provide additional support and public recognition for outstanding public school educators who daily invest their lives in the children of the Darlington County School District,” according to the foundation’s website. For more information, please visit www.TheDCEF.org.

Author: Stephan Drew

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