Wednesday, October 4, 2023

WJCC Schools Foundation to Award $28K in Innovation Grants

Front Row (from left to right): Steve Constantino, WJCC Superintendent; Clarence Wilson, WJCC Schools Foundation President; Ruth Larson, WJCC School Board. Second Row (L to R): Barbara Reynolds, Ginny Van Wicklin, Tatia Granger, Ginny Snead, Patty O’Neill, Ken Johnston. Third Row (L to R): Aaron DeGroft, James White, Aaron Hairston, Penny Pulley, Dustin Devore, Steve Vignolo, WJCC Schools Foundation Vice President of Governance, Alfred Woods, Todd Skinner, Judith Forehand Woods.
Members of the WJCC Schools Foundation. (Photo courtesy of WJCC Schools)

The WJCC Schools Foundation has selected recipients for its first round of Innovative Learning Grants and plans to announce the winners Jan. 8.

The WJCC School Board approved the disbursement of foundation funds to school division staff during its Dec. 15 meeting, an action that allows donations collected by the foundation to be awarded to grant recipients.

Clarence Wilson, president of the WJCC Schools Foundation, said $28,362 in grants will be awarded to educators who submitted proposals for innovative activities and programs they would like to bring to the classroom.

The recipients were selected in blind process, Wilson said, meaning reviewers did not know who submitted an application or which school the applicant represented.

Wilson said the foundation will formally announce how many applicants received grants and the value of each grant after the winners are notified.

“We’re trying to develop the process and a culture so the teachers feel comfortable applying for the grants,” Wilson said.

He said one of the goals of the foundation, which was established in September 2014, is to “be a catalyst for innovation and bring some resources to the teachers that are not ordinarily covered with the budget process.”

The applicants demonstrated “outside-the-box thinking” and went “above and beyond,” Wilson said.

“We’ve asked the teachers to let their minds wonder and be bold,” Wilson said. “We were very pleased with the outcome of the applications we received.”

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