Donor Bob Morris holds the grant check awarded to River Ridge Academy teacher Eric Mohrman (third from right) in his classroom April 26. Also present is Foundation for Educational Excellence board member Jackie Rosswurm, fourth from right.

Faculty members from 12 schools across Beaufort County were surprised April 26 with balloons and oversized checks given by board members, donors and volunteers from the Foundation for Educational Excellence.

Surrounded by their enthusiastic students, these teachers were the recipients of the Foundation’s Innovative Teacher Grants for Spring 2018.

The 17 grants awarded ranged from $145 to $4,000 and totaled more than $22,000. These grants will impact students district-wide in classes ranging from early childhood centers through high school. Some of the projects funded this year include seed plant terrariums, document cameras for Pre-K students, air foils for an eighth grade class studying aerodynamics, and World Music Drumming equipment.

This grant cycle was partially funded by contributions from the Friends of Callawassie Island, the Rotary Club of Okatie and the Foundation’s major fundraiser, “Jewels and Jeans.” The event is held each spring and offers an opportunity for attendees to “Fund-a-Grant” by pledging money towards partial funding of the Foundation’s grants.

One project that received grant money is “Fly High with Student Created Airfoils” submitted by River Ridge Academy teacher, Eric Mohrman. His eighth grade students will benefit from the generosity of donors Bob and Rebecca Morris, through the Morris’s contribution to the Foundation’s “Fund-a-Grant” program.

Bob Morris, pilot and retired Marine, has a passion for aeronautics, and the Morrises are great supporters of education and faithful supporters of the Foundation since it began in 2007.

Bob Morris had the opportunity to accompany Foundation board member Jackie Rosswurm as they surprised Mohrman and his students with the check to fund the project.

“We look forward to seeing the positive impact these grants have on the students and teachers involved in these projects,” said Deborah Colella, the Foundation’s chair. “We are so appreciative to our generous supporters who understand the importance of opening up these innovative learning opportunities to our students through these grants.”

Since 2009, the Foundation for Educational Excellence has awarded more than $200,000 in grants to the teachers, schools, and students in the public school system.