Rotary hears of educational foundation benefits

Published 7:36 pm Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Three students ranging from sixth grade through high school spoke to Bainbridge Rotary this week about the benefits each has received from the Decatur County Educational Foundation.
Introduced by Ginger Johnson, media specialist at Hutto Middle School, the students were Corbin Austin, a sixth grader at Hutto Middle School, Brantley Harrell a student at Bainbridge Middle School and Erin Caplan, a senior at BHS.
Introductory remarks from Dr. Fred Rayfield, Superintendent of Decatur County Schools, described the foundation as a partnership between education and the community, funded through private donations and matching payroll deductions from employees.
He said nearly $20,000 in grants was awarded during the 2013-14 school year. Nearly all schools in the system received at least one grant to conduct activities that are not funded through the regular school budget.
A video presentation developed and shown by another student, Colby Whitaker, detailed activities of 23 grants awarded to individual schools.
A partial list of activities given included: an elementary school publication of a book, a variety of field trips (special needs students went to Dothan for the Peanut Festival), trips to specialty farms, the wastewater treatment plant, a production at the Bainbridge Little Theater; support of the 1 on 1 Mentoring program; gift card and other rewards for positive behavior and academic achievement; development of a marine lab and also a family night at Hutto Middle School. At the high school level there is support of the AP program to encourage more high school students to push themselves academically, funding the mock trial competitions and the banquet for BHS honor grads.

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