CHIPLEY — The Fitzhugh and Essie D. Carter Educational Foundation awarded $40,000 to Chipley High School and Vernon High School at Monday’s Washington County School Board meeting.
Gary Clark presented checks on the behalf of the foundation for $25,000 to Vernon High School and $15,000 to Chipley High School.
“There are four areas in which the grant funding may be used,” Clark said, “and those are agricultural, English, the library or drama.” The foundation board met and approved the grants for the 2012-13 year.
“For us, this really helps with the little extras that we couldn’t otherwise afford,” said Vernon High Principal Brian Riviere. “We greatly appreciate the foundation board and the funding.”
Chipley High Principal Steve Griffin agreed. “We appreciate the foundation very much.”
In Vernon, one of the things the Carter Foundation money will help with will be pants for the baseball team, Riviere said. In Chipley, the funds will be used to purchase a new John Deere tractor, and purchase Promethean boards and Nooks for the library, among other things.
The foundation was established as a trust by the Carters to supplement educational activities in the local high schools. A local board of directors was created in 2006 and has since managed and administered the million-dollar trust fund in accordance with the wishes of the Carter family.
Longtime area educators and civic leaders, the Carters wanted to see the fruits of their labor utilized to promote some very unique aspects of the educational system, according to a news release from the foundation. The terms of the trust specify the primary uses are to supplement vocational, agriculture, English, drama, libraries and minor sports.
Each year both area high schools submit grant requests to the trust. All grant requests are reviewed and recommended by a select committee consisting of teachers and advisory council members from each high school.
“We really appreciate the foundation, and we want to thank the Carter family,” said board chairman Terry Ellis.
The board also received a $1,351 donation from Keith Cullen of the Florida Forest Service and the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services.
In other business, board member Milton Brown proposed a program offering free meals to Washington County Sheriff’s Office and Chipley Police Department personnel at the schools to get officers spending more time on campus interacting with the children.
Brown, a former State Trooper, said he would be happy to spearhead the program.
“We had a presentation from the PTO asking about school security,” Brown said. “And I know money is tight, but I was thinking that if we offered meals for officers then we could increase their presence on campus.”
Brown said his church, Shepherd’s Gate, was willing to pay for the meals for the first two months of the program.
“I think we should get people used to seeing officers there, and I am willing to do whatever needs to be done,” Brown said.
“I don’t have any problems with the idea, but I think we need to work with the principals,” said Ellis. “We’ll also need some mechanism to spread them out, so we don’t have five officers there one day and none the rest of the week.”
“We want the officers to be comfortable with the kids, and the kids to be comfortable with the officers being there,” Brown said.