This fall, the Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation (EWVCF) awarded nearly $85,000 to Berkeley, Jefferson, and Morgan County schools through their Education and Mini Grants for Teachers program.
129 grants were awarded to educators at forty-seven schools across the Eastern Panhandle. 94 Mini Grants totaling nearly $35,000 were given to individual teachers, and 35 Education grants totaling just under $50,000 helped fund collaborative efforts and major school projects.
In Morgan County, over $10,000 went towards projects like Morgan Golden’s Biography Bottles, wherein second and fourth graders at Pleasant View Elementary School will pair up, read a biography about a particular person, and then create a biography bottle model of their subject together. Grants also helped fund Alex Arthur’s LEGO Club at Paw Paw Schools and more up-to-date nonfiction books for Donna Meyer’s Pleasant View classroom library.
At Berkeley Springs High School, Meghan Powell and Stark Harbour received funding to take their sophomore students on a field trip to DC to visit the Holocaust Memorial Museum and WWII memorials after finishing their reading unit on the same subjects. Morgan County Schools’ Director of Child Nutrition Angela Beddow and Summer Goller received a grant to purchase vegetable processing equipment for the county’s Farm to School program.
Across Jefferson County, educators received nearly $15,000 for programs like Angela Wyatt’s “Summer Camp: A Musical Caper About Finding a Place to Belong.” Wyatt, the music teacher at Driswood Elementary School, will use her grant for costumes, props, and set pieces for the end-of-year fully-staged musical theatre production put on by the school’s 5th graders. Grants also helped purchase ukuleles and other “hands on” instruments for Bonnie Pullen’s music classroom at Ranson Elementary School, and planters to be maintained by Francine DeRonda and Michelle LaFollette’s Special Education Science classes at Harpers Ferry Middle School.
At Washington High School, Katlin Grantham and Doug Lance received funding to continue the school’s FFA Community Meals program. Six times a year, Washington High School FFA students shop for ingredients, prepare meals, and then distribute those meals to approximately 60 community members.
Berkeley County educators received just under $60,000 for projects like Bree Wert’s Social Skill Staff Snack Cart at Berkeley Heights Elementary School. Every Friday, students in Wert’s Autism class take a snack cart around the building to staff members, which allows them to practice a variety of communication and math skills. This grant will allow Wert to purchase a sturdier cart that will be easier for students to push, and will last for years to come.
At Potomack Intermediate School, all 877 students will have the opportunity to participate in Kimberly Nelson and Heather Blackburn’s LEGOtastic Derby STEM project, wherein students will collaborate to design LEGO cars to be raced on a timed track. Diane Blake, Brandy McFarland, and Faith Mann received funding to paint murals in Mill Creek Intermediate School’s cafeteria. They will be painting scenes to represent West Virginia’s beautiful mountains, gardens, and apple orchards throughout the seasons. At James Rumsey Technical Institute, Rachael Propst’s Forensic Science students and Doug Shaw’s Law and Public Safety students will gain real world forensic experience while solving a fictitious crime with MiniLab kits that include an electrophoresis unit.
The Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation (EWVCF) was established in 1995 to help donors create permanent endowments to provide grants and scholarships throughout the region. Since its inception, EWVCF has awarded $15 million, including over $1 million in 2022 alone. The Community Foundation now holds more than 290 endowed funds with assets of just over $38 million and is the leading steward of philanthropic giving in the region. EWVCF works with a wide range of nonprofit organizations, providing funding for projects from human welfare and scholarships to affordable housing and natural resources conservation; youth and education, animal welfare and historic preservation, and much more. For information visit www.EWVCF.org or call 304-264-0353.