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Darlington County Education Foundation awards more than $15,000 to teachers

on Thursday, 08 June 2017. Posted in Education, Local News, Features

DARLINGTON, S.C. – Nearly two dozen teachers across the Darlington County School District will benefit from more than $15,000 in grants from the Darlington County Education Foundation (DCEF).

Barbara Lee, director of the DCEF, surprised those teachers in their classrooms recently, marking another exciting year of grant presentations. This year, the DCEF awarded 12 grants totaling $15,220.

Superintendent Dr. Eddie Ingram praised the DCEF for continuing to support the district’s teachers and students.

“We are very excited that the Darlington County Education Foundation not only has a long history of supporting our school district but also makes a concerted effort to increase that amount of support each year,” Ingram said. “The foundation is a key community partner for the district. We thank the foundation for helping our teachers provide the best educational experiences possible for our students.”  

After an application period earlier this year, the DCEF awarded grants to teachers at 11 different schools to fund a wide variety of projects including the purchase of library books and periodicals, technology, innovative classroom seating, life skills training, tutoring, healthy living materials and playground equipment.

“The highlight of my first year as executive director of the Darlington County Education Foundation was the immensely gratifying experience of awarding grants to teachers that work so hard each day,” Lee said. “Seeing the excitement and joy expressed by the teachers and principals provided a visible example of their passion for the well-being of 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 grant program from sponsors for the “Go Big Hartsville” event, which was held on April 29 in Hartsville. The event was a reunion for the town and provided a platform to highlight the work of the DCEF.

“We would like to thank all of our generous sponsors and attendees that made it possible to award the many grants to our schools,” Lee said.

The grants awarded by the DCEF for 2017 are:

  • $2,983 for “A “Special” Kind of Play,” which will provide outdoor play equipment for all of the exceptional education classes at Southside Early Childhood Center. This will provide these students their own playground to meet their needs more effectively.
  • $1,239 for “There CAN Be More to Digital Learning Than Just Swiping,” which uses technology to encourage creative thinking in a small group setting. With OSMO technology, the screen is connected to tangible, holistic manipulatives that takes gaming beyond the screen and into the physical world for first and second graders at Carolina Elementary School.
  • $1,500 for “Growing Independent Skills,” which will provide exceptional students at Hartsville Middle School the means and skills to start and maintain a garden as well as provide job skills related to gardening and farming.
  • $1,000 for “Life Begins At The Library,” which will purchase new library books for third, fourth and fifth graders at Spaulding Elementary School.
  • $1,500 for “The Reading Roost,” which will update the media center at North Hartsville Elementary School to rejuvenate learners and inspire personal creativity.
  • $254 for “Chute, We Love the Outdoors,” which will purchase materials for indoor and outdoor experiences for 4K students at Southside Early Childhood Center.
  • $1,000 for “Oh, How I Love Informational Text,” which will create an informational text classroom library of magazines, newspapers, non-fiction texts and audio correspondence for sixth graders at Darlington Middle School.
  • $324 for “Café Connect: Experiencing Life One Cup At A Time,” which will provide an opportunity for students in Darlington High School’s moderate intellectual disabilities self-contained program to experience and gain a variety of work and social skills that will help them become successful and participating members of their local community.
  • $1,000 for “Academic Football Coach” at Hartsville High School, which is a program designed to encourage and motivate high academic standards.
  • $750 for “Pate is Walking Across America,” which will incorporate daily walking into a fun adventure that will lead second graders across a virtual America. Pedometers will be given to children where they will develop a healthy habit of walking, nutrition and geography.
  • $750 for “Dump the Desks, Find Your Best Learning Spot,” which will bring flexible seating into the classroom at St. John’s Elementary School so students can learn while being comfortable.
  • $2,921 for “Can’t We All Get Along,” which will focus on Lego Therapy during small group counseling sessions and the Lego Education Curriculum during classroom guidance at Brunson-Dargan Elementary School. The Lego curriculum will help inspire the students to get along and grow creatively and academically.

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.