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Greater Greer Education Foundation awards $10,000 in grants

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Tuesday, January 31, 2012

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Debbie Holcombe, physical education teacher at James F. Byrnes High School, accepted a $1,000 grant from the Greater Greer Education Foundation Thursday. At left is David Dolge, head of the Foundation's Grants Committee, and at right is Curtis Plumley, assistant principal at Byrnes.

Debbie Holcombe, physical education teacher at James F. Byrnes High School, accepted a $1,000 grant from the Greater Greer Education Foundation Thursday. At left is David Dolge, head of the Foundation's Grants Committee, and at right is Curtis Plumley, assistant principal at Byrnes.



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Adam Massey of Greer High School shows off the school's $1,000 grant along with students Tyler Ashwood and Peter Barnett. 

Adam Massey of Greer High School shows off the school's $1,000 grant along with students Tyler Ashwood and Peter Barnett. 



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David Dolge is chairman of the Greater Greer Education Foundation's Grants Committee. It was his pleasure Thursday to present the checks to 11 recipients.

David Dolge is chairman of the Greater Greer Education Foundation's Grants Committee. It was his pleasure Thursday to present the checks to 11 recipients.

David Dolge, chairman of the Greater Greer Education Foundation Grants Committee, was thrilled Monday to present $10,000 in grant money to 11 school and community projects in Greenville and Spartanburg counties. 

The Foundation invited recipients to a news conference to receive the checks and talk about the stories behind the grants. 

Dolge could relate to Byrnes’ Debbie Holcomb’s happiness in receiving a $1,000 grant to fund the Feb. 25 Lifepoint 5K run in Charleston as an incentive for retention and commitment for students in the “Fight for your Life” program. 

Leading up to the event, Holcombe will be encouraging all her classes -- at risk-students to honors -- to learn about health and fitness and the value of providing a quality lifestyle through fitness and eating healthy.

“Last year I was there (the 5K run) and wondered ‘how could I get the kids here,’ Holcombe said. “This ($1,000) gets them there. Some of the kids, I don’t think, have ever been out of the county or even seen the beach. This will be an extraordinary adventure for them.”

“It feels great, and it’s very exciting to see the enthusiasm behind the applications,” Dolge, a former educator, said. “When I was teaching at Pickens we took a group of kids to London. Some of them had never flown.” 

Dolge said one of his students told him after touring London and its historical landmarks, that ir was a “life changer for her.” She got her degree in chemical engineering and traveled the world. “One day I got a message from her, and she reminded me, “Mr. Dolge, I told you that trip was a life changer.”

Dolge said testimonials like that spur teachers to continue to move forward. “They’re not thinking of themselves. They are thinking of how to meet the needs for their kids.  I couldn’t be prouder of our selections this year.”

Adam Massey, teacher for Greer High School’s nationally recognized Virtual Enterprise  (VE) class, said the $1,000 grant will be invested into its coffee sales program and its profits will be reinvested. The VE class project, SugarRush, won the state championship last year with its business plan and project and will compete in New York City in March.

“We will increase the efficiency of our coffee and get a larger return on our investment because of this grant,” Massey said.

Dolge said he was impressed with Massey and his student’s efforts. “I told Adam he is in the right place right now and doing a great job with the program.”

Brian Grant, the band director at Blue Ridge High School, asked for funding for instrument repair. “We take some of the larger instruments that are borderline, like a tuba, and repair them. It would take thousands of dollars to do all of them. We can spend $300 on reconditioning a tuba and make it like new,” Grant said.

Grant’s Blue Ridge High School Corps of Cadets is a perennial Upstate- and state-ranked band. The $500 to $1,500 grants, were made possible by funds from the September 2011 Education Gala. 

Margaret Burch, foundation chairman and former educator who revitalized the program in 2009, said that each year the foundation has been able to help teachers and students with more funding than the year before.  “We are grateful for the support of the citizens and business community who have embraced our vision and joined us in enhancing educational opportunities in the Greater Greer area,” she said.

Other grants awarded were:

• D.R. Hill Middle School. $1,500. The Tiger Reading Territory grant will address the area of differential guided reading instruction that will enable the teacher to work with a small group of students to help them learn effective strategies for processing text with understanding. 

• Greer High School English Department, $1,500: The grant provides each student to participate in the “The Wooden O” with The Warehouse theatre in Greenville. Visiting teaching artists, usually two per class, will set up a scene of, for example, a Shakespearean play with Romeo and Juliet as he scene, and students will employ the language of the era.

• Woodland Elementary School, $1,000: Funding for iPAD2 to assist pathologist with workload and increase state and district policy of including technology in the classroom.

• Reidville Elementary School, $900: Provide funding to construct a bird habitat. Teachers will use the project to help students understand and use the elements of non-fiction as they participate in an interdisciplinary study of birds.
Mountain View Elementary School, $600: Funding to  purchase Orff instruments to be used in music education.

• Dunbar Child Development Center, $500: Funding for the purchase of iPAD. Students will use its applications to communicate basic needs since most people do not understand sign language.

• CenterQuest, $500: Funding to help meet center’s expenses in providing at-risk children individualized tutoring and homework assistance, especially during the after-school hours.

• Greer Middle College High School, $500: Funding for (25) Kindle Wifi, which will allow students to have all of their English literature, a dictionary, thesaurus and research at their fingertips.

Businesses mentioned in this article.

Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce

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