Congratulations to all our
Grant recipients!

GGEF Awards more than $20,000 in grants to 18 schools

January 26, 2017

The Greater Greer Education Foundation presented $20,582 in grant money to 18 school and community projects in Greenville and Spartanburg counties at a reception Jan. 26, 2016 at Greer City Hall.

Brent Garrett, chairman of the Foundation, welcomed grant recipients and their guests. “Since 2011, the Foundation has awarded grants and scholarships totaling more than $182,000,” Garrett said. “It is because of our sponsors and community support, that we can award these grants today.”

The Corporate Sponsor for the Foundation are Greer Memorial Hospital and J.M. Smith Charities. Corporate Friends are: BMW, Pelham Medical Center, Greenville-Spartanburg Airport, D&D Motors, Greer Women Giving for Education, C.F. Rhem Jr., and Kathy Cochran.

Garrett also praised the Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce for their GreerMade program. “Most of our students who receive grants go to schools that prepare them for work at local companies and suppliers. By staying in Greer, they continue to make Greer “the place to be.”

David Dolge, chairman of the Foundation’s Grants Committee, commented: "As a retired educator, being a member of a Foundation that gives money to educators and students is a privilege for me. Our classrooms are filled with very competent teachers and their needs, to effectively serve their students, are great. I love fulfilling teachers' wishes!"

Dolge then presented grants ranging from $400 to $1,500 to:

Sherry Smith, Tigerville Elementary
Grant amount: $400

Smith has plans for an arts “career” where students 3rd-5th grades will rotate throughout the year in their art classes, working at a drafting table complete with artist’s chair, special desk top lighting as well as learning to use a light box to gain the experience of taking ownership of a potential career in the arts.

Lisa Hansen, Tigerville Elementary School
Grant amount: $829.50

Hansen plans to include “BreakoutEDU” kits for each of your grade level teams, a game to encourage students to think critically using problem solving and trouble shooting, which promoting teamwork.

Diane Jackson, Tigerville Elementary
Grant amount: $752.93

Jackson plans to purchase electronic renewal subscriptions to “Reading A to Z” or the updated program “Rax Kids” for each grade level at Tigerville.

Carol C. Godfrey, Skyland Elementary School
Grant amount: $1,500

Godfrey plans to introduce students to the local history and folk tradition of the Blue Ridge community by giving them an opportunity to hear live traditional folk music, meet a local folk musician and play a folk instrument.

Jody Dill, Mountain View Elementary School

Dill plans to purchase four Hokki stools to go along with the two currently in use. The goal is to use these stools to help special needs student gain the wiggle room they need while reading or taking tests. The ergonomic stools keep students moving, while they are sitting still.

Amy Holcombe, Greer High School
Grant amount: $1,463

Holcombe plans to purchase pocketsize portable devices that read text out loud or can be used with headphones. “Students will be able to do research and come to their own opinions based on what they have discovered. Being able to read is vital to communication.”

Kara Ponder, Greer High School
Grant amount: $1,479.76

Ponder plans to purchase two iPad Pros and 2 Apple pencils for students to use to make learning engaging and fun. Ponder said he plans to use the iPads and Apple Pencils to enhance and supplement their learning of content taught in the regular education classes. An additional benefit will be a heightened interest in learning and a boost in student confidence.

Shelly Eubanks, Dunbar Child Development Center
Grant amount: $1,386.48

Ponder plans to purchase an Osmo play system for iPad, which takes iPads into a whole new level of learning. The system impacts the students’ learning in the areas of technology, math, literacy, creativity and social skills.

Jackie Knafelc, D.R. Hill Middle School
Grant amount: $750

Knafelc plans to continue to grow the butterfly garden at her school by adding more railroad ties and smaller gardens around the space, also using railroad ties. The space will include an herb garden, a vegetable garden, a flower garden and walkways. The garden also helps students create relationships with each other.

Kate Canterbury, Crestview Elementary School
Grant amount: $1,500

Canterbury plans to purchase a Fountas and Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention Kit for use with struggling first grade readers. The kit will provide high-interest, appropriately leveled materials for support at school and at home.

Alicia Keller, Chandler Creek Elementary School
Grant amount: $1,400

Keller plans to purchase materials available for teachers to use with students identified as autistic with autism, anxiety and ADHD. The materials will be included in “toolboxes” which can help students calm down. The toolboxes also make an impact on instruction across the school.

Jennifer Dodds, Tyson Wright, Kevin Washington, Chandler Creek Elementary School
Grant amount: $1,100

Dodds, Wright and Washington will continue their Works in Progress program that teaches students how to dress and act like gentlemen. Students are taught how to shake hands, open doors, make eye contact and address someone older with respect.

Sarah Methvin, Chandler Creek Elementary School
Grant amount: $424.49

Methvin plans to buy hands-on science materials with a focus on using the science and engineering practices to encourage cooperative learning while enhancing science concepts.

Debbie Holcombe, Byrnes High School
Grant amount: $1,500

Holcombe will continue her FIGHT (Friends Into Getting Healthy Together) Club, and after school get fit/weight loss program. The grant money will allow your students to participate in the Lifepoint Organ and Tissue Donation 5K race in Charleston as an attendance commitment and retention incentive for students.

Amy Lewis, Buena Vista Elementary School
Grant amount: $1,359.85

Lewis plans to design a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) Lab, which will include six Dash and Dot robotics kits. The interactive robot friends can be programmed to interact with the world around them. Students will excel in collaborative, creative problem solving across all disciplines, develop enthusiasm for learning through hands-on robotics and show growth in digital literacy and fundamental STEAM principles.

Meagan Wagner, Blue Ridge High School
Grant amount: $1,500
Wagner plans to make a variety of seating/standing options available to students by adding six stand-up desks. The desks will be used in a variety of ways in order to increase student focus, engagement and overall academic success.

Leslie Susie, Blue Ridge High School
Grant amount: $868.91

Susie plans to take students on Virtual Field Trip Tours using Ipods and Virtual Reality Headsets to explore the world. The virtual field trips are guided explorations through the Web that coordinated an assortment of pre-screened, thematically based Web pages into a structured online learning experience.

Tracy F. Jackson, Blue Ridge High School
Grant amount $1,200.00

Jackson will continue her “Cooking in the Classroom” program. The grant will help buy food so that students can learn to cook fun and easy recipes. The idea is to teach comparative shopping, write and learn recipes, cook, organize and clean.


Debbie Holcombe, in above photo, receives a check from GGEF's David Dolge for continued support of Byrnes High School's FIGHT (Friends Into Getting Healthy Together) Club, which Holcombe founded. Her grant request was one of 18 funded.

Brent Garrett, pictured left below, is chairman of the Greater Greer Education Foundation and assisted David Dolge, right, chairman of the Grants Committee, in congratulating teachers and schools who received over $20,000 in grant money at a reception in their honor at Greer City Hall. TEACHERS, WE SALUTE YOU!

Alicia Keller, Chandler Creek Elementary School Amy Holcombe, Greer High School
Carol Godfrey,Skyland Elementary School Diane Jackson, Tigerville Elementary School
Jennifer Dodds and Tyson Wright,
Chandler Creek Elementary School
Jackie Knafelc, D.R. Hill Middle School
Jody Dill, Mountain View Elementary School Kara Ponder, Greer High School
Kate Canterbury, Crestview Elementary School Leslie Susie, Blue Ridge High School
Meagan Wagner, Blue Ridge High School Sarah Methvin, Chandler Creek Elementary School
Sherry Eubanks, Dunbar Child Development Center Sherry Smith, Tigerville Elementary School
Not pictured: LIsa Hansen of Tigerville Elementary School and Amy Lewis of Guena Vista Elementary School.
Tracy Jackson, Blue Ridge High School  
Foundation Chairman Brent Garrett talks with Diane jackson, middle and Sherry Smith.
Foundation board members: From left, Leigh Ryan, Eric Tonnsen and Travis Olmert. Mark Owens, right, president of the Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce, is an ex-officio member of the GGEF board.
Board member Margaret Burch, right, congratulated Carol Godfrey of Skyland Elementary School on receiving a GGEF grant for her school.
Greer Mayor Rick Danner, center, attended the grant reception. He chats with board members Brian Martin, left, and Susanne Hite.