On Dec. 19, the Montgomery County Educational Foundation (MCEF) held its Annual Grant Awards Ceremony, where the Board of Directors awarded over $36,000 in grants to educators in Montgomery County Public Schools, bringing the total awarded in 2017 to $40,289.49.
The annual event, which began in 2012, honored both grant recipients and their sponsors who provided the funds for these grants. In 2011, the MCEF established endowment and grant funds with the Community Foundation of the New River Valley. To date, the MCEF has awarded over $192,000 to 180 projects and programs in Montgomery County Public Schools.
Connie Froggatt, MCEF President and Montgomery Co. School Board Vice Chair, highlighted the growth of the Foundation since the inception of the educator grant program. “At our first grant ceremony in 2012, we awarded just over $3,500 in grants. This year, we’re awarding over $36,000!”
The MCEF celebrated its 30th birthday on Dec. 9. It was originally created as a non-profit pass-through mechanism for Montgomery Co. Public Schools. After the recession of 2008, which brought deep cuts in education funding, a group of public education advocates refocused the Foundation and established a new Board of Directors to raise private funds in support of PreK-12 public education in Montgomery County.
Those individuals included School Board members Phyllis Albritton and Joe Ivers, now retired, and several private donors. The all-volunteer Board of Directors grew over the years and now includes the Superintendent of Schools Dr. Mark Miear, School Board Member Connie Froggatt, MCPS teachers and staff, retired MCPS teachers, business leaders, and community members.
Froggatt credits the work of the Board and the support of the community for the exponential growth in grant funds. This year grant sponsors included 100+ Women Who Care NRV, Phyllis Albritton, Corning Inc. Foundation, Dr. Mark and Connie Froggatt, Montgomery Co. Retired Teachers Assoc., Freedom First Credit Union, MCPS Employees, Wells Fargo Foundation, Gay and Neel Inc., Blacksburg Jr. Women’s Club, Susan Miller, Kevin and Melissa Proudfoot, Starbucks, Branch and Assoc., Dr. Jon and Jill Maher, Dr. John and Sharen Hillison, and Dr. Michael Wright.
Every school in the county will benefit from at least one of over 40 programs funded in 2017 by the MCEF. Awards ranged from $132 to $2,000 in a variety of areas including STEM, visual and performing arts, afterschool enrichment programs, technology, student engagement, mental health, physical fitness, mentoring programs, lab equipment, professional development, fieldtrips, project-based learning, and school clubs. Grant recipients included teachers, administrators, PTAs, and even one student.
— Submitted by MCEF