Duck ‘adoptions’ generate $126,000 in grants for Forsyth County schools

John Thompson
Some of the grant applicants from this year's duck "adoptions."(Photo/Forsyth County School District Facebook page)

(Forsyth County, GA) The 2022 #FoundationFriYAY was a BIG success for Forsyth County Schools. On Friday, August 26, schools across the county were surprised as they received a portion of $126,000 in grant money raised during the 2022 Duck Dive for Education fundraiser that was held during the spring.

According to school spokesperson Jennifer Caracciolo, grants included:

  • $4,149 to Alliance Academy for Innovation, Forsyth County Schools’ college and career high school, for the “Center of Strength” program to integrate physical fitness throughout the school day
  • $4,695 to Big Creek Elementary for the “Roaring with Robotics” program for their VEX robotics team, providing access to more VEX Robotic Kits
  • $4,620 to Chestatee Elementary for the school's Lexia Lab to aid ESOL students in working toward a mastery of reading
  • $3,248.28 to Daves Creek Elementary for its Lego Learning Lab to develop social, problem-solving, organizational, and planning skills by using hands-on activities
Photo/Forsyth County School District Facebook Page.)

  • $5,000 to Denmark High for their “Newcomer Literacy” program to enhance reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills among students
  • $5,000 to East Forsyth High for its “Building Our One East Community” program, which brings students and their families from the East vertical team schools together throughout the year
  • $5,000 to Forsyth County Schools’ Special Education Department and The FoCAL Center for the Penguin Project 2023 show: Seussical Jr. In this program, students with special needs are paired with typical peers, encouraging the formation of positive relationships and life skills.
  • $5,000 to Forsyth Central High for the “Grand Central Community Wellness School Initiative” which supports students and families in need by providing food, school supplies, clothing, and more at the renovated school store.
  • $5,000 to Forsyth Central High to support the “Evaluation and Enhancing Strength and Conditioning” program to individualize workouts, track data, and develop healthy habits for students in the weight room.
Photo/Forsyth County School District Facebook Page.

  • $1,738 to Johns Creek Elementary for a therapy dog. Goals for this program include increasing student and staff wellbeing, limiting the number of situations involving de-escalation, reducing the need for crisis assessments, and supporting growing readers.

  • $5,000 to Liberty Middle to finish creating and furnishing the Liberty Connection room, which is a therapeutic environment in the counseling office for students to utilize when needed
  • $3,125.34 to Little Mill Middle for Construction Safety, which will help fund the very first “Carpentry and Construction Pathway” for middle school students (currently available at East Forsyth High School). This program is an opportunity for students to learn skills like plumbing, electrical work, and tool safety.
  • $2,500 to Mashburn Elementary for their “Blue Bear Calm Down Kits” which will contain timers, fidget toys, breathing cards, and more to teach students to self-regulate their emotions
  • $4,296 to Mashburn Elementaryfor VEX Robotics Kits to support STEM and create a hands-on learning experience
  • $2,436 to Matt Elementary for Matt MakerSpace, which is a place for students to explore different passions such as engineering, coding, robotics, and production
Photo/Forsyth County School District Facebook Page.}

  • $4,073.16 to New Hope Elementary for its “Building New Dreams Through Drumming” program. This grant will allow the school to purchase enough drums for everyone in the classroom to have a set, giving students the opportunity to learn a musical instrument with their peers.
  • $4,470 to New Hope Elementary for the “Nighthawks Hatching from the Nest” program which will utilize different sensory regulations and wellness support materials to help children learn valuable wellness skills
  • $5,000 to North Forsyth High’s “Science Ambassador” program to help with science nights at elementary schools in the North Community
  • $5,000 to the North Forsyth Vertical School Team (four elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school) for their “North Family Fun Festival” for students and their families who live in the community
  • $4,908 to Otwell Middle for the Innovation Lab, which provides students access to the latest coding, programming, critical thinking, and other hands-on resources
  • $4,736 to Poole’s Mill Elementary for their school-wide leveled book room to promote literacy for all students and to serve as a resource for students and teachers
  • $1,550 to Riverwatch Middle for Flextime Funds, which occurs twice a week for 45 minutes for teachers and students to participate in activities based on their passions and interests
  • $1,200 to Settles Bridge Elementary to buy six new robots for students to use in the C-lab to learn coding techniques and robotic skills
  • $4,945 to Shiloh Point Elementary for a book vending machine. Children who have demonstrated positive classroom behavior are given the opportunity to choose a book, therefore increasing reading and literacy.
  • $3,209 to Silver City Elementary for the Comet Trail Tales Book Walk. As students make their way along the nature trail, they will have different pages from a book to read.
  • $5,000 to Silver City Elementary for their “Stronger Together” program, which prepares kindergarteners and their parents/guardians for their first year of school
  • $5,000 to South Forsyth High for its War Eagle Victory Garden. This project will mirror the Victory Gardens planted during WWI and WWII that helped combat food shortages.
Photo/Forsyth County School District Facebook Page.)

  • $5,000 to South Forsyth Middle for new adaptive swings, used by students in specialized instruction classes, and to provide a place for mentors to meet with their “buddies”
  • $4,980 to Vickery Creek Middle for the “Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS)” program which rewards students for their positive behavior and uses restorative practices for problem-solving
  • $4,905 to West Forsyth High for the “Developing ICONs” program, which aligns with the “West Family Values” program, encouraging students and staff to partake in building a positive learning environment

#FoundationFriYAY began in 2018 and happens on one Friday each Fall. Schools receiving grants are surprised by the Foundation Governing Board.

Money for the Duck Dive is raised by $10 adoptions of rubber ducks for a chance to win the grand prize of $10,000. More than 7,800 ducks were adopted in the 2022 campaign. The Duck Dive was also sponsored by several community businesses. For more information about the program click here.

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I've been writing articles around the metropolitan region for 30 years. My work has appeared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the NY Post, and other regional newspapers.

Senoia, GA

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