For every dollar spent at Whole Foods next Wednesday, 5 cents will go to supporting the dreams of Cobb County school teachers.
For the first time, The Cobb Community Foundation and the Cobb Schools Foundation will partner with Whole Foods Market to raise money to fund Teacher Impact Grants.
The grants help support creative and innovative classroom plans that Cobb County teachers come up with but have no means to fund themselves, said Sheri Brante, executive director for the Cobb Schools Foundation, a group that raises money for the county’s schools.
Each year, dozens of teachers apply for grants that range from $500 to $2,500, which they use to develop their own out-of-the-box lesson plans, Brante said.
In 2012, almost $22,000 was raised through various fundraisers to award 21 teachers grants, said Acworth Mayor Tommy Allegood, who also serves as the executive director of the Cobb Community Foundation.
Stephanie Watson, a healthy eating specialist at Whole Foods Market, said the funds raised from both Whole Foods locations Wednesday should total between $4,000 and $5,000.
Paul Watson, a teacher at Kincaid Elementary School, was awarded $500 to fund the Kincaid Gentlemen’s Society last year, which is a group of fourth- and fifth-grade boys who meet once a week to discuss leadership, community service and goal setting, with the occasional guest speaker, Watson wrote on the Schools Foundation website.
Dana Jones, a teacher at Mableton Elementary School, was awarded $2,500 for her project, “STEMing It at Mableton.”
Jones worked to develop STEM labs, filled with tools for students to problem solve with hands-on math, science and technology lessons, according to the foundation’s website.
Whole Foods Market at Merchant’s Walk off of Roswell Road in east Cobb and Cobb Harry’s, on Powers Ferry Road, across from Williamson Brothers Bar-B-Q, will both be donating 5 percent of their total sales to funding the Teacher Impact Grants this year, Allegood said.
The Cobb Schools Foundation has received 80 grant applications this year, Brante said. The applications are now being reviewed by a committee of six people who will have the finalists chosen in the next two weeks.
A group of committee members and both foundations will ride out to each of the winning teachers’ schools during the week of Nov. 11 to surprise them and award them their grants in person.
“It’s the coolest thing,” said Allegood, who said he will be out shopping for fruit at Whole Foods on Wednesday night.
From 4 to 7 p.m. at both Whole Foods Market locations there will be Halloween-themed activities taking place, and from 5 to 6 p.m. at Cobb Harry’s, Allatoona High School’s advanced fiddler group will be performing, Brante said.
(Reprinted from the Marietta Daily Journal. Written by Hannah Morgan, October 27, 2013. Read more: The Marietta Daily Journal – Groups partner with Whole Foods to fund teacher grants)