PCES volunteers help secure $5,000 grantPublished 11:12pm Thursday, June 19, 2014
Pike County Elementary School received grant funds from the Walmart DC in Brundidge in the amount of $5,000 Thursday. The funds were made available to the school through the Walmart’s Volunteerism Always Pays (VAP) program.
Robert Chappell, Walmart DC general manager, said through Walmart’s VAP program, the company offers two types of grants for Walmart employees who volunteer with non-profit companies.
Walmart offers individual VAP grants in which Walmart employees volunteer 25 hours with an organization and Walmart provides a grant to the organization in the amount of $250.
Walmart team VAP grants bring together a group of Walmart employees in a volunteer effort. Depending on the volunteer hours, grants funds may be awarded up to $5,000 for an organization.
PCES Principal Anita Grant said the Brundidge elementary school has received a couple of individual VAP grants that met needs at the school.”
“But the group VAP was the idea of Mark Griffin, president of our PTO,” Grant said. “He believed that the Walmart employees would get behind the idea and they did.”
Griffin is an operations manager at the Walmart DC and he encouraged the Walmart associates to volunteer with the program. Fifty-six Walmart DC associates came on board.
“The volunteers had to provide 250 hours in order for PCES to receive the $5,000 grant,” Griffin said. “They actually volunteered 260 hours. All of us wanted to do something in support of the elementary school and its students.”
The Walmart associates volunteered instructional hours primarily in math and reading.
Grant said having the Walmart volunteers in the classroom was not a disruption.
“The volunteer program was extremely well planned and scheduled,” she said. “The teachers knew when the volunteers were coming and they provided planned assistance with test reviewing, reading and math. Some of the volunteers had traveled to other countries and they talked with the social studies classes about their experiences. The volunteers contributed in many different ways.”
Shantell Rouse, PCES assistant principal, said the students looked forward to having the Walmart volunteers in the classrooms.
“The entire program was positive,” she said. “The male volunteers were role models for our students. We don’t have many male teachers so having these male role models in the classroom was beneficial in several ways. We appreciate their support and their efforts to raise money for our school.”
Grant said there is no way to adequately thank the Walmart DC and its associates for the generous VAP grant.
“We are so appreciative of the support of Walmart and for this grant,” she said. “Our teachers will use the funds in collaboration for the purchase of instructional materials that will benefit the students on all grade levels.”
Chappell said Walmart is committed to giving back to the community.
“At Walmart we believe in giving back,” he said. “It’s Walmart’s culture to give back and anything we can do so support schools, we want to do.”