2013 Rural Recipients of Grants from the Leonore Annenberg School Fund for Children

Last Updated: May 30, 2013

This article appeared in the May 2013 Rural Policy Matters.

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Two rural elementary schools have received grants from the Leonore Annenberg School Fund for Children. The schools are D. P. Cooper Elementary in Williamsburg County, South Carolina, and North Mitchell Elementary in Mitchell County, Georgia.

The School Fund is one of three programs — the Leonore Annenberg Scholarship, Fellowship, and School Funds — administered by the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. Gail Levin is Director of the Funds. “These and other grants from the School Fund reflect the late philanthropist Leonore Annenberg’s desire to add value to the school experience of each child,” Levin explains. “The School Fund provides up to 15 awards each year to U.S. elementary schools with the highest concentration of poor children and a specific project designed to enhance the educational program and general well-being of the students.” The resources must be of immediate and direct value to, and use by, students.

As a partner organization to the School Fund, the Rural School and Community Trust nominated the schools for the grant. “We are pleased that we were able to direct this award to D. P. Cooper and North Mitchell Elementary Schools,” says Doris Terry Williams, Ed.D., Executive Director of the Rural Trust. “Both schools have demonstrated their capacity to make inspired and wise use of very limited resources. The funds from these grants will enable the schools to continue their good work and serve their students with programs that would not otherwise be available.”

D. P. Cooper Elementary will use the funds to purchase Chromebooks — wi-fi enabled laptops — for every classroom. Severe budget constraints have limited the school’s current technology offerings to one computer lab. The Chromebooks will provide internet access for all students and teachers in each classroom, allowing students to make full use of South Carolina’s new online textbooks and other web-based resources.

“This is the first time we will have the technological capabilities to give students direct access to the internet in their regular classrooms,” says principal Kerry Singleton, Ed.D. “The program will be well implemented in our school and will help our academic performance to continue to improve. We want to thank the Leonore Annenberg School Fund for Children for this grant and to express our appreciation to the Rural Trust for nominating us. This is a very big deal to us and something brand new for our school.”

North Mitchell Elementary will use their grant to initiate a health and fitness project. With no local YMCA or gym and a Boys and Girls Club that is always full, many families have few options other than to leave their children in the after-school care of older siblings, watching television, playing video games, and eating high-calorie, low-nutrition snacks. The grant will enable the school to purchase exercise equipment, update their health curriculum resources, and expand the school garden and related curriculum.

“We were very disappointed last year when only a handful of our students passed Georgia’s new fourth grade fitness test,” says principal Jacqueline White. “A lot of our kids won’t make it to middle age or older — we’re concerned about their health, not just now but 15 or 20 years from now. This grant will allow us to put in place programs and activities that help kids become aware of their health and to develop healthier lifestyles. We’ll also be able to build out our curriculum with the garden. We are so excited and thankful for the opportunity to receive this grant from the Leonore Annenberg School Fund for Children and to the Rural Trust for considering us. It will provide many more opportunities for our students. I just want to say thank you. Thank you.”

Both schools will also participate in a place-based learning workshop provided by the Rural School and Community Trust. The workshop will support school staff to integrate their School Fund projects with ongoing efforts to identify community-based learning resources and connect students’ academic work to meaningful outcomes in the community.

Don’t miss “Leonore Annenberg Scholarship, Fellowship, and School Funds Benefit Rural High School Student and Two Rural Elementary Schoolsfor more overview as well as additional information about the Leonore Annenberg Funds. Also, be sure to read Aeronautics in the Future for 2013 Rural Leonore Annenberg Scholarship Winnerto learn about how the College Scholarship Fund is supporting a rural student to pursue higher education at a top-ranked university.


Read more from the May 2013 Rural Policy Matters.