Anderson schools' foundation uses grants and money for learning, related needs

ANDERSON — In Holly Gingrich’s early childhood education classes, students plan lessons and activities for preschoolers to demonstrate skills they learn in the classroom.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Gingrich’s students would visit a single class and teach lessons. However, with this being one of the first “normal” semesters since the pandemic stated, Gingrich wanted to do something more.

“I needed something to kind of get that spark back with my students.”

A $700 teacher grant from Anderson Education Foundation will help her give her students that spark.

Gingrich, instructor for the early childhood education pathway at Anderson High School’s D26 Career Center, used the grant to help her students put on their “One kid, two kid, each kid, teach kid” program for preschool students.

Each year, teachers can apply for AEF grants to help fund student projects and learning experiences.

With funds from AEF and some money out of Gingrich’s pocket, the students in her classes led different lessons and activities at three local preschools: Southview Preschool Center, Park Place Children’s Center and TRC Early Head Start Center at D26.

Without the grant, Gingrich would not have been able to execute this event on such a large scale.

Another grant that AEF offers is the Impact Grant. Teachers can apply for up to $5,000 that will help them fund a larger project that creates a meaningful impact.

In addition to providing grants to teachers, the education foundation also operates Classroom Closet.

“(In) our Classroom Closet, we give supplies out to teachers,” said Aimee West, AEF’s executive director.

The Classroom Closet has one of the foundation’s biggest budgets.

Teachers may visit the closet, in D26, when they need basic supplies.

“A lot of them (teachers) say, ‘This is like Christmas’ and I’m thinking, oh my goodness, they’re so happy to get notebooks and Wite-Out,” West said.

If there are supplies the closet does not have, teachers can make requests, and the foundation will purchase those items.

The education foundation also supports students by helping them with any school-related needs.

As an example, West said a number of students can’t afford a cap and gown for graduation. In the past, the foundation has worked to provide cap and gowns for them.

While the foundation has numerous community sponsors, the current funding need exceeds these sponsorships.

One way the community can support the foundation is by attending the Golf 4 Grants tournament. It will be at 11:30 a.m. June 8, 2022, at Anderson County Club. Registration is due May 31.

To learn more about the education foundation and to register for the golf tournament, visit and click on the foundation tab.

This article appeared in The Herald Bulletin on March 11, 2022.