“Tonight we are celebrating the teacher grants we were able to donate to Bartow County teachers,” said Dot Frasier, executive director of the foundation. “[The recipients] are all so thrilled, and [we appreciate] the work they are doing at the schools, helping those children from pre-K all the way to 12th grade.”
The grants, funded by donations, totaled more than $82,000. Each school in the county, as well as the central office, received a grant, with 101 grants going to the elementary level and 74 going to middle and high.
“If it weren’t for folks like our directors and our community, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do,” Frasier said.
The foundation was established in the early 2000s as a nonprofit organization designed to provide additional support for the Bartow County School System, its employees and students.
David Aft, president of the Community Foundation of Northwest Georgia, said he appreciates the work of the foundation within the community.
“The community foundation really chooses projects to get behind that have leverage, and when we can work with the Bartow Education Foundation and in turn support the work of classroom teachers, that means we touch a lot of lives through doing that,” Aft said. “The [community foundation] gives several thousand dollars a year to [the Bartow Education Foundation] and Cartersville City Schools’ [classroom mini-grant program] … and it’s added to the tremendous support of other people and it really makes its way right into the classrooms,”
The Teacher Grant program has existed since 1996. Bartow teachers who are seeking additional classroom funding can apply for a grant up to $500 through the foundation. A three-person panel consisting of former educators from the elementary, middle and high school levels will evaluate the request and, if approved, the teacher will receive the funding to be used toward classroom improvement based upon the request.
Through its donors, the foundation’s Teacher Grant program has been able to provide more than $1 million in grants to teachers across Bartow County.
For example, Tammy Queen of Woodland High School previously received a grant to be used toward a scanner and software to help her English students build an electronic portfolio.
Queen said student portfolios allow teachers to set benchmarks for progress so the following year teachers will have a point of reference as to a student’s strengths and weaknesses the prior year. She added an electronic portfolio also will help students prepare for college.
“Hopefully not only will [students] see their progress, but they will note their own mistakes and that will help them as they get ready for college. So [the portfolio] is not just for teachers,” Queen said.
She said the electronic portfolio project has been “in the works” for years and that it will take some time to meet the needs of all students.
“[The grant] is the first step, and hopefully it will help us eventually prevent things like plagiarism,” Queen said, “but right now the main reason is the electronic portfolio because everything is going electronic now.”
For more information on the foundation, contact Frasier at the central office, 770-606-5800, ext. 3858.