With Thanksgiving just around the corner, members of the Bryan County Board of Education had extra reason to be thankful at Thursday night’s meeting at Bryan County High School in Pembroke.
For the second month in a row, donations to various school programs from added up to more than $20,000 – a lot more than $20,000.
The BoE has to approve larger donations, which can come from individuals, PTSO groups, booster clubs or in the form of grants, such as the Bright Ideas grants from Coastal EMC and awarded in October. Some is asked for by teachers, who often apply for grants to help fund extras in their classrooms. Some donations are monetary, some equipment or work.. Most of it is designated for specific uses.
But it all adds up, and it helps, BoE members said Thursday.
“We’re very thankful for all of this,” BoE Chairman Eddie Warren said, noting that while the system provides what schools need to succeed, the donations allow for more. “It’s a lot of money, and it helps provide things that other systems might not be able to afford.”
Just a quick rundown of the last two months’ worth of donations shows its impact.
In November, the BoE accepted eight donations, ranging from $12,228 from the Richmond Hill Elementary School PTSO for afterschool clubs, a mobile chrome book cart – those are $9,000 – and “education resources in the classroom,” to a YETI cooler donated by “the Georgia Family” to the Richmond Hill Middle School cheerleading program.
In between were donations of $9,000 by the Richmond Hill High School Gridiron Association for rubber flooring in the west gym; 23 Google Nexus 7 Andrioid tablets worth more than $3,600 from DonorsChoose to Richmond Hill High School, a $1,000 new teacher grant from Georgia Power to Jennifer Cox at Richmond Hill Elementary; and a pair of grants from DonorsChoose worth more than $400 each and one for more than $500 to Lanier Primary teachers.
In all, that amounted to more than $27,000. In October, the board approved donations of more than $25,000 – including $1,925 to BCHS from SeaPerch for underwater robots; $8,8000 from College Board to help with AP STEM programs; more than $2,700 from DonorsChoose to various programs and equipment at Lanier Primary; a $3,250 grant of matierals, supplies and field trips from Georgia Southern for system STEM projects; $630 in various donations to the Richmond Hill High school track program; and more than $8,100 in “Bright Ideas” grants from Coastal Electric.
Warren said the donations show Bryan County’s residents care about their schools.
“They’re really invested in their schools and they want their educational system to succeed,” he said.