Foundation News
 EFPC Grants First Round of Donations to Pickens County Schools​​
  1. Ambler Literacy
  2. Easley High School
  3. Media Specialists
  4. Pickens High School
  5. Theater Departments
The Education Foundation of Pickens County has announced its first round of donations ever for Pickens County schools, funding grants to impact hundreds of students. Totaling $4,500, the donations will fund grant requests submitted by teachers, and they will benefit students at elementary, middle, and high school levels across the district’s four main attendance areas.
“When we asked teachers to submit ideas for grants, we were impressed with the response,” said Wendy Helmendach, foundation chairperson. “These five stood out from the rest either because of their ability to reach a broad number of students, or because of the impact of the programs they support.”

E-Books for Middle School Libraries
The foundation funded $1,500 for purchases of high interest e-books for the libraries at all five School District of Pickens County middle schools. The books were selected based on teacher suggestions for books that would engage students who are not already enthusiastic readers. The books can be checked out by multiple students at once and read on students’ school-issued tablets. The grant was initiated by a request from R.C. Edwards Middle School media specialist, Cara Moffett.

AP Computer Science at Easley High School
The foundation funded $500 for equipment and software to support the new Advanced Placement Computer Science class at Easley High School. The equipment will help students learn principles of coding and robotics and will be shared with the school’s VEX robotics class. The grant was submitted by Susan Allen, a computer science teacher at EHS.

AP Environmental Science at Pickens High School
The foundation funded $500 for specialized supplies which are a part of the new Advanced Placement Environmental Science class at Pickens High School. The grant was submitted by Ashley Lamb, a science teacher at PHS. The course will teach about human impact on natural system through hands-on labs with real-life applications.
The grants for AP classes at Pickens High School and Easley High School support the school district’s emphasis on increasing Advanced Placement offerings and participation for students.

Leveled Library at Ambler Elementary School 
The foundation funded $1,000 for a “Leveled Library” for Kindergarten through 2nd grade students at Ambler Elementary. A “Leveled Library” is composed of books chosen to suit the needs of each students’ reading level and is used throughout the school day for guided reading (in which the teacher leads the students in a group reading setting) and independent reading. The grant was submitted by Courtney Vaughan, Reading Coach at Ambler Elementary.

Theater Program Support at All High Schools
The foundation donated $250 to the theater programs at Daniel High, Easley High, Liberty High and Pickens High. Fine Arts is one of the four areas of focus for the Education Foundation. Although dramatic productions are a vital part of school life and Fine Arts education, it is often difficult for schools to bring their theatrical visions to life with the resources at hand. The foundation’s donation is intended to help each school’s program with the costs of stage productions. This grant was inspired by a request by Pickens High School drama teacher Daniel Graybeal.

“We have several more grant requests from teachers that are worthy of funding, but we are in need of donations to fund them. One of our key roles as a foundation is to match the needs that our teachers identify with people who are eager to give,” Helmendach said.
EFPC and Duke Energy Provide STEM Scholarships

The Education Foundation of Pickens County secured an $8,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation which allowed 30 elementary students to attend the STEM UP Lego Robotics Camp at the Pickens County Career & Technology Center this summer.

The scholarships were awarded to children who qualify for free-or-reduced-price lunch due to income. The grant opened up valuable STEM learning opportunities to students who would not normally be given the opportunity due to financial barriers.