“That’s the most [money] we’ve ever given and the most grants we’ve ever funded,” Bartow Education Foundation Executive Director Dot Frasier said.
She said there is a panel of three readers for each grant with at least two of the readers being retired teachers and one being from the business community. Areas taken into consideration for grant approval, Frasier said, include whether the grant can be used in future years and how many children will be served.
“Every school got grants, but some got a lot more money than others,” Frasier said. “Adairsville High School got almost $20,000 and that was the top school, but they had the most grants submitted. There wasn’t any school that got all of its grants funded, but some got a higher percentage than others.
“... Usually a grant will be taught the second semester and then the first semester of the next year to a second group, so every grant that is written, we basically just about double our money to begin with.”
The average grant is $500, but if it is written for a greater amount, the person applying for the grant must provide for a cosponsor.
“Each school catalogues and labels these grants material just like you do any other book or piece of equipment that belongs to their school, ... so it belongs to that school forever more,” Frasier said. “If a teacher were to transfer, move out of state, whatever, the material is for those children.”
She continued, “All of the winning grants are on file at [The Resource Center] so teachers can go check those grants out and use them year after year. There are grants there that have been there since the grant program started.
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, a nonprofit, has been able to provide more than $1 million in grants to teachers across Bartow County entirely through donations.
“It’s just a good, good investment,” Frasier said of the program. “If someone wants to do something for children, it’s one of the best ways you can spend your money.”
Grant recipients will be recognized on Feb. 4 during the foundation’s annual teacher grant banquet. For more information on the program, contact Frasier at the Bartow County School System’s central office, 770-606-5800.