Fulton schools foundation help teachers provide more opportunities for students

Recipients of the Fulton Public Schools Foundation grants stand for a photo Wednesday during the End of the Year Gathering at Fulton High School. The foundation gave more than $5,000 worth of grants to educators in the three elementary schools and the middle school.

Recipients of the Fulton Public Schools Foundation grants stand for a photo Wednesday during the End of the Year Gathering at Fulton High School. The foundation gave more than $5,000 worth of grants to educators in the three elementary schools and the middle school. Photo by Brittany Ruess.

The Fulton Public Schools Foundation named the recipients of its annual grant program Wednesday night — nine projects ranging from increasing technology in the classroom to starting a coffee shop at the middle school.

Foundation board member Shari Means said that range is part of what makes this year’s pool of grant winners stand out.

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Amy Jolly, learning specialist at Fulton Middle School, stands to be recognized during Fulton Public School's End of the Year Gathering on Wednesday as it's announced that she is receiving a $1,000 grant to start a student-run coffee shop. The coffee shop will help improve social and job skills.

“We have a wide variety of ideas (this year),” Means said. “Technology was definitely part of it, we also had some issues with relationships — one dealt with bullying issues — there’s one all about teaching some of our special needs student about life skills.”

When deciding which projects to fund, Means said the grant committee look for innovative ideas and projects that will impact groups of students.

Next year’s foundation grant winners are:

•Juanita Heider at Bush Elementary, $500 for “R.A.I.L.S. Club.” According to the grant summary from the foundation, the R.A.I.L.S. Club lets low-achieving students choose books that are on their level to check out and take home. Students will keep a reading log and will meet before or after school to discuss what they are reading with their peers and/or teacher.

•Casey Echelmeier at McIntire Elementary, $500 for “I’m a 21st Century Learner!” According to the grant summary, Echelmeier’s project will help give her fourth-grade students access to Web 2.0 tools Minecraft For Education and GoAnimate to help foster critical thinking, collaboration, creativity and connectivity.

•Teresa Alison at Bartley Elementary, $500 for “Busy Bees.” According to the grant summary, this continues a program started two years ago to help reduce bullying behavior by second- and third-grade girls. The girls meet in small groups during lunch to talk about relationships, self-image and personal strengths.

•Jan Bailey at Fulton Middle School, $500 for continued support of the FMS Broadcasting Club. This year the grant will be used to pay for two subscriptions for appropriate top 40 hits to play on the station.

•Morgan Kraus and Katie Marshall-Bishop at Bartley Elementary, $750 each for “Cruising Through Chromebooks in Second Grade.” The grant will fund the purchase of three Chromebooks per classroom, which will move them toward a two-to-one ratio for technology. The Chromebooks will allow students to work on creativity, critical thinking and problem-solving skills, as well as research and write assignments.

•Lisa Swan at McIntire Elementary, $1,000 for “Assistive Technology for Diverse Learning Needs.” The grant will be used to buy assistive technology and augmentative/alternative communication equipment for the school’s special needs classroom.

•Amy Jolly at Fulton Middle School, $1,000 for “Student Led Coffee Shop.” The grant will be used to start and run a coffee shop at the middle school to serve up coffee, tea and hot chocolate to school staff, parents and community members. The shop will be open three days a week and complete learning objectives to help them operate a successful business.

•Beth Houf, Billy Cannon and Courtney Blackwell at McIntire Elementary, $500 for “McIntire 5th Grade Hornet Ambassadors.” The program will be a collaborative experience between the facilitators, teachers, the fifth grade ambassadors and the community that will provide students with leadership and service opportunities.

Superintendent Jacque Cowherd thanked the FPS Foundation Wednesday night for its continued support of projects and improvements not covered by the district’s yearly budget.

Means said providing that monetary assistance is the main purpose of the foundation to begin with.

“We’re designed to support Fulton Public Schools and we are doing as much as we can to help in ways that the budget doesn’t always allow them to do,” Means said. “We want to do as much as we can to help.”

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