The Bullitt County Foundation for Excellence in Public Education has awarded $15,990 in grants to schools.
The largest award of $2,000 was distributed to five recipients:
- Kindergarten Literacy Project for Mt. Washington Elementary School teacher Jena Ralston.
- Project What I Need (WIN) for Cathy Pinkston’s second grade class at Mt. Washington Elementary.
- The Choose Kindness Movement organized by Bullitt Lick Middle School teacher Tonie Weddle and her students Mary Cargill, Laini Creason, Emily Duane, Jacob Hess, Ally Pellman, Ellie Smith and Elizabeth Sprenger. This grant will ripple to Bullitt Lick’s feeder elementary schools of Nichols, Roby and Shepherdsville.
- An Orff Ensemble for Elizabeth Yates’ music students at Nichols,
- Family Resource Center summer camps coordinated by Jacey Smothers at Cedar Grove, Lebanon Junction, Mt. Washington and Roby Elementary Schools.
Ralston said she was surprised and honored to have been awarded this grant.
"I am extremely grateful to the Bullitt County Foundation for Excellence in Public Education for investing in the quality of our student’s education,” she said.
She will use the grant to purchase a class set of guided reading books.
“This guided reading system is research-based and focuses on critical skills for emergent readers,” Ralston explained. “Guided reading is such a critical component in a balanced literacy program and I am overjoyed to be able to provide my students with such an amazing resource!”
Pinkston expressed excitement that the Foundation is partnering to help them provide greater access to technology.
“Our students will have a 2:1 ratio of access to technology programs that provide needed interventions and extensions in reading and math,” she explained. “The Foundation’s support provides a direct academic impact at MWES and has helped us increase the number of Proficient and Distinguished students.”
Smothers said she was honored and thrilled to receive a BC Foundation Grant.
“This funding will allow us to provide quality learning opportunities during the summer months,” she said adding last year, during the Explore KY Camp, they were able to take students on field trips all over Kentucky.
“We could not have provided these real-world learning opportunities without this funding! We are so grateful for the BC Foundation,” Smothers acknowledged.
Yates said her whole school was there to see her receive the grant check and they celebrated together.
“I was honored, proud, and surprised to have been chosen,” she said. “I’m very grateful for the support of the Bullitt County Foundation for Excellence, and so happy I could do this for my students.”
The money will be used to expand the instrument inventory of Yates’ music room.
“Every student in the school will benefit from having the extra xylophones, as we currently do not have a full class set. The students and I are excited for these additions,” she said.
A grant totaling $1,859 was awarded to Special Education Consultant Leah Riggs for Regulating Emotions and Calming Down.
“I was surprised, and honored, to receive this grant,” Riggs said. “I feel very fortunate that we will be able to use this money to reach so many struggling students.”
The funds were invested in purchasing licenses for a full curriculum that teachers can use to teach emotional regulation and calming skills to students using a variety of strategies, including calm down kits.
“The calm down kits include activities for individual students or small groups when students are overwhelmed or frustrated,” Riggs explained. “We will be able to put 143 calm down kits in our elementary schools with this grant!”
A grant for $1,800 was earned by Hebron Middle School instructor Nancy Hutchins for the JROTC Panther Corps Program.
“Thank you to the Bullitt County Foundation,” Hutchins applauded. “The funds provided by the BC Foundation will be used to create leadership and community service opportunities given to the cadets. I am proud of the cadets at Hebron and was so happy that our community leaders see the potential in having a JROTC club in middle school.”
Hutchins’ colleague at Hebron, Woody Zorn, wrote a successful grant for $1,000 for speech and debate.
"I was understandably excited to receive the grant,” Zorn said. “I am thankful to work in a school system where opportunities like this exist.”
It is his belief that there is not a single extracurricular activity that has a more lasting impact on students than speech and debate.
“This grant will enable our team to compete at the state level,” Zorn said.
Crossroads Elementary School STEM teacher Jaymee Clemens was awarded $841.45 for Bringing Stories Alive through Robotics.
“I was extremely excited to hear that my project was selected to receive a grant from the Bullitt County Excellence Foundation committee,” Clemens said. “There are so many great teachers in our county and they have many great ideas on how to move and engage our students to meet their educational goals. I felt much honored to be selected amongst such an amazing group of teachers.”
Clemens continued that receiving a grant in any sorts provides our students with opportunities that they would otherwise not be able to have.
“The Hummingbird Robots kits that I requested will allow our students here at Crossroads to be able to use their coding skills to create working robots out of everyday materials. There are countless ways that I can use these kits and am so excited to get started using them with my students,” she said.
Eastside Middle School teacher Chris Stidom earned $439.98 to bring a Spotlight to Drama.
The Foundation raises funds through donations, payroll deductions and an annual event. The money is given back to schools through competitive grants.