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    18 Yadkin County educators awarded creative classroom grants


    As 18 educators were cleaning up their classrooms for the summer, Advisory Board members of the Yadkin County Education Foundation and Shallow Ford Foundation staff popped in with balloons and a ceremonial check to surprise and congratulate them on their Creative Classroom Grant award.

    The individual and collaborative grant applications were selected from a competitive process for projects starting in the 2024-2025 school year. The following educators and projects were awarded Creative Classroom Grants.

    -Jamie Athan at Courtney Elementary School for Panthers Sensory Walk

    -Justin Allison at Forbush High School to establish a Glass Program

    -Stephanie Christopherson at Forbush High School for Operating a Care Closet

    -Angie Funk at Forbush High School for Making It Real – Creating Marketing Merchandise

    -Kris Caudill and Crystal Hardin at Forbush Middle School for Magnify Learning Microscopes

    -Katie Johnson at Fall Creek Elementary School for Science Discovery in the Classroom

    -Tammy Poindexter and the 3rd Grade Teachers at Yadkinville Elementary School for Space and Poetry Collide

    -Vanessa Brown, Heidi Watts, and Chris Greene at West Yadkin Elementary School for Skip the Arcade, Have a Letterland Parade

    -Natalie Matthews at Starmount High School for Imperative Skills for Entry Healthcare Professionals

    -Amy Mathis and Taylor Cheek at Boonville Elementary School for Accessible Outdoor Learning

    All Yadkin County School teachers were invited to submit grant applications for dream projects that would enhance learning and engage students through creative instructional projects that are not otherwise funded through Yadkin County Schools. Advisory Board members visited all the schools in February to meet with teachers and make them aware of the program. This is the first year of the program and, based on funding, the Foundation hopes to offer the grant opportunity annually. The grant applications were reviewed and scored by the Advisory Board members of the Yadkin County Education Foundation.

    Jon Bowman, Advisory Board Member and Pastor at Peace Haven Baptist Church, commented on the experience, “It was thrilling to represent the Shallow Ford Foundation in the distribution of the monetary grants to our qualifying teachers this year. I was especially encouraged at each recipient’s enthusiasm and gratefulness for this fresh opportunity for educational advancement. I do feel that this was just the beginning of a renewed optimism among many of our local educators.“

    Marty Roberts, Rid-A-Bug Exterminating Co. and also an Advisory Board Member concurred, "We are thrilled to support our educators through the Yadkin County Schools Educational Foundation Creative Classroom Grant Awards, which empower teachers to bring innovative and engaging learning experiences to their students. Seeing the smiles and excitement of our teachers is truly inspiring, and we know this support will make a significant difference in our schools for both teachers and students.”

    Glenda Shore Wingler, Advisory Board Member and with CW Electric, added “It was so exciting to see the teachers surprise reactions. They were so thankful, happy, and started telling us about the projects and made them come alive for me. It’s one thing to read about the projects but it’s another to hear the passion in their voices discussing their projects. I’m blessed to be a part of such a wonderful foundation and live in Yadkin County where people invest in their community.”

    Dr. Todd Martin, now working with the Shallow Ford Foundation to help the Education Foundation grow, said, “To see the joyful and surprised faces of these dedicated educators underscores the importance of these grants, not only to enhance student learning, but to encourage educators with extra resources to support their creativity in their classrooms. We look forward to doing more and hope the community will continue to be generous in helping make these grants possible every year.”

    Funding for these grants is made possible by contributions to the Shallow Ford Foundation, Yadkin County Education Foundation Fund. These first competitive awards were funded by a grant from the Duke Energy Foundation and through an allocation from the office of state Senator Eddie Settle to support the work of non-profits.

    The Yadkin County Education Foundation is a fund of the Shallow Ford Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) community foundation serving Yadkin County, Clemmons, and Lewisville. For more information or to support the Yadkin County Education Foundation, contact Todd Martin,

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