Grants support 17 schools, 55 teachers
by DELANEY WALKER Banner Staff Writer
Aug 15, 2014 | 1277 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Approximately 17 different schools and 55 teachers were aided by the Bradley Cleveland Public Education Foundation mini-grants offered to the Cleveland and Bradley County and school systems.

A total of $50,000 was awarded between the two school systems through individual and team grants.

Matt Bentley, foundation board president, expressed the education-centered nonprofit’s pride in the mini-grant program. He listed additional programs offered during the 2013-14 school year at the annual joint school board meeting Thursday night.

“As you know, our Bradley Cleveland Public Education Foundation serves both systems and we strive to support excellence in teaching and learning by bringing outstanding programs and professional development opportunities together with funds to support it,” Bentley said. “We want to make mention of several initiatives that are innovative and will, we believe, have a deep, lasting impact on students and ultimately our community.” 

These programs included: 

- Leaders for Life

The Bradley County program is an initiative in all of the elementary schools. The foundation has offered support of the program all three years. Leaders for Life started with a $5,000 start-up grant. The success of the program resulted in a two-year $37,000 grant by the Tucker Foundation.

- TeleMedicine

A $50,000 grant offered through the United Way of Bradley County Healthy Initiatives Fund provides access to “medical expertise and intervention of physicians and nurse practitioners” to students and staff in both school systems. The county and city Coordinated School Health offices collaborated to work on the program.

TeleMedicine sites in the Bradley County and Cleveland City school systems are at Waterville Elementary, Black Fox Elementary, Taylor Elementary and Mayfield Elementary. A grant is currently being pursued to provide additional sites in the future.

Bentley said the TeleMedicine program will supplement the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile which treated 2,056 students during the 2013-14 school year.

- Fund for Teachers

This opportunity was first offered during the 2013-14 school year. Bentley reported the seven fellowships awarded resulted in nine teachers in both school systems traveling to different parts of the world. The goal is to provide teachers with real life experiences which will then positively influence their classrooms.

The Lillie F. Fitzgerald Excellence in Teaching Award was another initiative offered through the foundation and funded by Dr. Rodney and Margo Fitzgerald. The award went to Cleveland High School teacher Erin Hattabaugh and Cleveland Middle School teacher Dianna Johnson. Each teacher received a personal stipend of $3,000 and a $2,000 stipend for their classrooms.

A Vision 100 event will be planned for this fall and another Gifts, Grants and Gratitude banquet will take place in spring 2015.

Teachers and administrators from both school systems are looking into the German American Partnership Program to expand the horizons of both city and county students and staff.

Bentley said one of the foundation’s goals for the 2013-14 school year had been to meet with all 14 of the school board members. Foundation members met with five during the school year. Meetings will be scheduled with the remaining nine during the 2014-15 school year.

“We find it very productive. It opened up a lot of dialogue between us. We learned a lot about each other and about the different boards,” Bentley said. “I would like to continue that.” 

More information can be found on the Bradley Cleveland Public Education Foundation website at