By: Dale King Contributing Writer
It was the intent of the Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce to distribute more than $85,000 to city schools at a breakfast Sept. 14 as part of the annual Golden Bell Education Foundation’s allotment of financial assistance to learning centers around the city.
Instead, on Sept. 14, Boca Raton was still mopping up from massive Hurricane Irma and city students, like all others in Palm Beach County, were in the middle of a storm-induced week off from school.
Ratchet ahead two weeks and things were a lot different. The dining room of the Via Mizner Country Club was filled with students, teachers and members of the Boca Chamber Sept. 28 to take care of what should have been done a fortnight earlier.
Following breakfast sponsored by Bluegreen Vacations as well as several speeches, Chamber officials handed out grants to principals, administrators and students from 13 elementary schools, four middle schools, four high schools and also the George Snow Scholarship Foundation, which provides funding for those looking to further their education, but can’t afford it.
The Chamber collects money throughout the year to help schools purchase items they cannot afford to buy with money in the school district’s budget.
In addition to distributing grants, the Chamber raised $7,000 during the breakfast this year through a “Text to Give” program that will be applied to next year’s donations.
As of 2017, the Golden Bell Education Foundation has presented more than $1.4 million to Boca schools since its inception in 1991.
Guest speakers were Susan J. Saturday, senior vice president and chief human resources officer for Bluegreen Vacations and BBX Capital Companies, and Dr. Robert Avossa, Ed.D., superintendent of the Palm Beach County School District.
The following facilities were 2017 Golden Bell Education Foundation grant recipients:
A.D. Henderson University School –$2,989 to purchase “Letters Alive,” a supplemental reading program, and $2,639 for “Picture Perfect” STEM (Science, Technology, English, Math) lessons that seamlessly tie science and reading together.
Addison Mizner Elementary — $3,000 to purchase Fundations Kits, an individualized reading program that teaches students using a multi-sensory approach.
Boca Raton Elementary – $3,000 to purchase Fundation Literacy Kits for kindergarten through grade 2.
Calusa Elementary — $3,500 to purchase guided reading books for all grades.
Coral Sunset Elementary — $3,080 to buy full-color information books with hands-on extension activities for science instruction in each grade.
Del Prado Elementary — $3,500 to buy literacy intervention kit designed to bring children quickly up to grade-level competency.
Hammock Pointe Elementary — $3,500 to purchase Literacy Intervention Reading Kits and replacement supplies.
J.C. Mitchell — $530 to purchase learning kits for STEM programs for students with disabilities; $127 to purchase two sets of “Who Would Win?” books and $2,729 to buy kits that will allow students to build small-scale robots.
Sandpiper Shores Elementary, $2,895, to purchase reading interventions material and whole group instruction.
Sunrise Park Elementary, $3,500, to buy Fundations phonics sets to expand the program to all classes in grade 2.
Verde Elementary School, $2,367 for two “Short Read” reading kits and $853 for two Reading Running Record kits.
Waters Edge Elementary School, $3,703, to purchase first grade and second grade Fundations Teachers kits.
Whispering Pines Elementary School, $2,956 to support the Project Lead the Way Program.
Boca Community Middle School, $1,506 for “Go For It” program to develop vocabulary and language skills for ESOL kids; $199 to buy a Read-Along Listening Center and $912 to buy earth science equipment and $1,700 for a set of Everglades Mathematics books.
Don Estridge High Tech Middle School, $3,000, to purchase Chromebooks for technology education.
Eagles Landing Middle School, $2,635 to purchase eight Lynxmotion Robotic arm kits in the Project Lead the Way Academy.
Loggers’ Run Middle School, $3,200, to create a molecular biology lab focusing on healthy/sustainable food.
A.D. Henderson University School/FAU High, $2,508 to purchase three DNA Analysis Lab Kits. Principal Sherry Bees accepted.
Olympic Heights High, $1,567 for TV production equipment; $1,583 for times for physics labs; $549 for books designed for children with autism and/or language delays and $1,249 to create STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) space in library media center. Principal David Clark accepted.
Spanish River Community High, $825 to purchase materials for marketing and business students to prepare for DECA competitions and $2,000 to purchase materials for biotechnology academy. Principal William Latson accepted.
West Boca Raton High School, $6,000 of in-kind services in grant from West Boca Medical Center; $1,240 for stop-motion animation kids and $536 for microslides for the marine biology program.
The George Snow Scholarship Fund received $7,000. Its president, Tim Snow, accepted.
The 2017 Golden Bell Grant Application period is closed. For more information on grants for 2018, contact firstname.lastname@example.org in the New Year.