The Newton Education Foundation awarded $6,000 worth in grants to three school programs as part of its fundraising campaign, ReImagine Newton.
Last Thursday evening, spring grant recipients each received $2,000 for their respective programs.
Mose Xiong of Eastside High School received a grant for the school's "Student Technology Assistance Raising Individual Outline Knowledge" program. The program will provide tablets to use at school for those who cannot afford them.
Kathryn Bonnell of Clements Middle School received a grant for the school's "Books for Boys" program. The grant will be used to buy nonfiction books that will appeal more to boys.
"They're hard to get to be readers more so than girls," said Bonnell.
Tomeka Stringer and Dana Price of Live Oak Elementary School received a grant for the school's "Make the Grade, Join the Anti-Bully Crusade" program. The grant will allow the program to bring in guest speakers, host parent workshops and purchase promotional items like T-shirts and posters.
Price said how appreciative she was to have a foundation like ReImagine Newton.
"I am so elated this money is available," she said.
Since its inception three years ago, ReImagine Newton has awarded $18,000 in grants to local school programs.
"We are in our infancy, but we are growing," said Robert Stansfield, chairman of the Newton Education Foundation.
The foundation, which operates independently of the school system, was organized by community members and local leaders to fill a need. When the foundation was started, public school budgets were being cut nationally.
"We [wanted] to build a fund to support public education," explained chair member Kathie Smith.
By focusing its efforts on building a support fund, the foundation created ReImagine Newton.
"We have a commitment to education in Newton County," Smith said.
Using this focus, the program has been able to offer financial support for programs in Newton County's schools which would not be normally figured into the budget.
For example, Terry Badertscher of Clements Middle School received a grant last fall to build a weather station. With the grant, Badertscher was able to buy $3,000 worth of weather equipment.
Other fall grant recipients include Kathryn Bonnell and Denise Walker of Clements Middle School for their "Readers for Life" program and Rebecca Bennett of Fairview Elementary School for her "Just Read" program.
Money for the grants is raised by donations.