For the approximately 28,000 students and 2,080 teachers at the 35 schools in the Santa Rosa County School District, the Gulf Power grant will fund 15 different teacher grants ranging from artistic literacy to career/technical education and STEM education – Science Technology Engineering & Mathematics.
“We are thrilled to receive this grant,” said Cathy Purdon, outgoing executive director for the Santa Rosa Education Foundation. “Our Foundation will use the Gulf Power grant to provide innovative classroom projects that motivate students and increase achievement.”
The funds are a much-needed boost for teachers in the classroom, according to Brian Tice, assistant principal at Graceville School in Jackson County.
“I want to thank Gulf Power for the generous gift,” Tice said. “We plan to use the grant money to help provide supplies to our students here. This will help ensure that all students have exactly what they need to be successful. This will be a welcome gift for our teachers, our students and our parents.”
The Gulf Power Foundation gave a grant to the Escambia County Public Schools Foundation at the end of 2020 of $25,000. The following education foundations or school districts were grant recipients in 2021:
- Santa Rosa Education Foundation — $15,000
- Okaloosa Education Foundation — $20,000
- Walton Education Foundation — $15,000
- Holmes/Washington/Jackson County school districts — $30,000
- Bay Education Foundation — $20,000
For Walton County, the 17 schools and more than 10,000 students will see this grant directly impact the classroom. The Walton County Foundation uses grants like this in their classroom grant program, distributing the funds to 53 classrooms in 2021-2022.
“This money goes directly into helping our teachers help our students,” said MH Carr, executive director for the Walton Education Foundation. “The focus is on making a positive impact on the academic achievement of students in the Walton County School District.”
The grants will provide support for students in reading, career/technical education and STEM initiatives, with a focus increasing graduation rates. In addition, the Walton Education Foundation will look for innovative instructional opportunities that result in improved student achievement using project-based learning.
“Every year our teachers apply for more than the Walton Education Foundation can afford to award, which proves that this program is still very much needed to ensure students in Walton County have everything they need to excel inside and outside the classroom,” Carr said.
“Gulf Power’s mission will always remain to support our communities and help it grow. Our children’s education is one of the biggest areas we can help with in Northwest Florida; after all, a strong education helps build a strong community,” said Sandy Sims, executive director for the Gulf Power Foundation. “The Foundation’s goal is to improve the lives of Northwest Florida residents, and during times like now when many need extra support, we are honored to be able to provide these grants to help our region’s students.”