TCS Foundation awards grants

Published 7:14 pm Friday, October 23, 2009


The Troy City Schools Education Foundation has awarded $14,623 for a variety of programs in Troy schools for the 2009-2010 school year.

The TCSEF, an independent non-profit organization established in 1992, funds an array of unique programs that are not covered by city school funds.

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“The programs are limited only by the teacher’s creativity,” said Stacy Graning, president of the foundation.

This year, teachers were not running short of ingenuity.

Latin teacher Ephy Howard and Art teacher Pam Smith came up with a way for high school students to experience the culture of Italy without leaving the Southeast.

“We’ll have an opportunity to take the kids to the Leonardo daVinci showing at High Museum in Atlanta,” said Smith. “This exhibit is limited to select cities across the nation. It will show some of daVinci’s work and the work of some of his students.”

The TCSEF grant will cover half of the expenses of the trip while students who sign up for the trip will be responsible for the remainder.

“As soon as we received word that the grant was approved, we opened up the trip for November 17. It’s already full. Kids are excited for this opportunity at such an affordable price,” Smith said.

Positive steps are being taken over at the middle school as well.

“Pedometers offer a simple and inexpensive way of monitoring and evaluating the performance of students during physical education class and at home,” said Chad Lapp, physical education teacher at Charles Henderson Middle School. “I am very concerned about the health and wellness of the students at CHMS, and I am working on developing ways of improving fitness levels and attitudes toward exercise.”

Lapp hopes the program will have lasting effects on students as well as improved marks in the Presidents Physical Fitness Test.

Drama teacher Jessica Boothe seeks to improve student performance beyond the gym and under the bright lights of the stage.

“The opportunity to act in a well-known Broadway musical will put our theatre students on par with their peers in theatre programs around the state,” said Boothe, who is pleased to have been awarded the funds to undertake the performance of the hit musical Godspell. “My students and I think Godspell will be a hit because it is a well-known show with a positive message, great music and it is family friendly.”

The singing will continue for music instructor Lauren Aaron and her students with the Sing For Joy in Troy program at CHHS. The TCSEF grant will provide choir students with the audio equipment necessary to go on tour. Students will complete a spring musical production and hope to perform at parades and various community club meetings.

Other programs funded by the grant will be trips to the Science Bowl and the USS Alabama Battleship in Mobile. A Skype station will be set up at the high school’s media center where Spanish students can communicate face to face with kids in South America, and English students will have the opportunity speak live with children’s book author and illustrator Mike Artell. Those same students will be participating in the Books for Hope Program where they will use their newfound knowledge to write their own books and have them bound and published to be sent to kids in Uganda.

Since its inception the TCSEF has awarded $200,000 worth of grants to Troy city schools. One of the main contributors to the foundation are the minds behind its cause.

“Faculty and staff are tremendous supporters through payroll deductions and individual donations,” Graning said.

Individuals and corporations in the community are encouraged to support the foundation as it moves forward in the enrichment and development of our youth.