Shelby County Schools Education Foundation ‘grants’ teachers’ wishes

Maryjayne Herring and Kendall Williams surprise Forest Oaks Elementary School Reading Coach Lacey Hughes with a grant on March 24. (Reporter Photo / Molly Davidson)

Maryjayne Herring and Kendall Williams surprise Forest Oaks Elementary School Reading Coach Lacey Hughes with a grant on March 24. (Reporter Photo / Molly Davidson)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

The Shelby County Schools Education Foundation brightened the day of several teachers, surprising them with grants for their classrooms on March 24.

The Shelby County Schools Education Foundation raised nearly $36,000 through a school system wide coupon book fundraiser during January and the first two weeks of February. The foundation divided this money into 41 grants given to 21 different schools.

“The portion (of the money) that comes to the foundation, we put back into the schools,” Shelby County Schools Education Foundation Development and Communications Director Kendall Williams explained.

A more than 10-year-long tradition, the grants seek to “promote instruction” and “inspire children to reach their maximum potential,” Williams said. Teachers may fill out an application, then the Shelby County Schools Education Foundation decides where to grant money.

“It’s really about what the students will get out of it,” Williams said. “Technology is the number one request still.”

On March 24, representatives from the Shelby County Schools Education Foundation, Williams and Maryjayne Herring, visited eight Helena, Oak Mountain and Chelsea schools to deliver grants of up to $1,000.

A $1,000 check was delivered to Oak Mountain Intermediate School Media Specialist Linda Sears, who explained the grant would be used to purchase microscopes and tools “for exploring time and temperature” in the science lab.

“This will make a big difference for every kid in the school, because every kid uses the science lab,” Sears said. “Every kid in school will get to touch these microscopes.”

Forest Oaks Elementary School Reading Coach Lacey Hughes also received a grant on March 24. The $960 grant will help Hughes purchase nearly 900 books for the school’s book room, Hughes estimated.

“Because we’re a new school, we didn’t have a book room,” Hughes explained. “We are in the process of building up our book room. It’s just another resource for the teachers to use. They’ll be very exited.”

Representatives from the Shelby County Schools Education Foundation will continue visiting schools and delivering grants to teachers throughout the week.