The South-Western City Schools Educational Foundation has awarded 26 grants totaling $20,138 for the 2018-19 school year.

The foundation board approved the grants at its Oct. 9 meeting.

The total number of grants and dollars doubles the amount awarded last school year and restores the scope of the grant program to previous levels, said Adam Slane, vice chairman of the foundation board and chairman of the grant and scholarship committee.

Thirteen grants totaling $10,012 were approved last school year, he said.

"We had some downturns in terms of some of our long-term donors, and the board decided we wanted to continue to maintain the endowment at the level the original foundation board intended, so we had to reduce the number of grants we could award last year," Slane said.

"Thanks to the support we've received from the community for our various fundraising efforts, we've been able to restore the scope of our grant program to what it has been basically since 2008-09," he said.

"We couldn't fulfill our mission and provide all of the grants and scholarships without the community's support," said Kacie Waugh, foundation chairwoman. "The more support we get from the community, the more we can do for the schools in our community."

This year's grants funded proposals from 19 district schools at all grade levels, Slane said.

Several grants will help fund field trips, allowing Highland Park Elementary students to visit the Columbus Museum of Art, the Norton Middle School and Westland High School orchestras to attend a concert performance and the AP history and language arts classes from the South-Western Career Academy to visit the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Columbus to learn about career opportunities in the field of law, Slane said.

"There are a lot of hidden expenses for field trips, from the cost of transporting students by bus to admission fees and arranging for substitute teachers to fill in for teachers," he said. "We're so happy to be able to help fund these enriching field trips."

One grant will bring COSI on Wheels to Stiles Elementary School.

"What's great about this grant is that every student at Stiles will be able to participate in COSI's visit to their school," Slane said.

Throughout the years, the foundation has supported Science Technology Engineering Mathematics programs at all grade levels, including providing a grant this year that will purchase materials for a first-grade project at Darby Woods Elementary School, he said.

The foundation sets a limit of $1,000 for each grant it approves.

"It allows us to support as many initiatives and projects in the district as we can," Slane said.

The foundation's grant and scholarship committee reviews applications submitted by teachers and other district personnel and makes recommendations. The committee considers criteria that includes the objective of the grant proposal, how many students will be involved, the anticipated outcome and budget, Slane said.

Since it was established in 1988, the foundation has awarded about $329,000 in grants and more than $1.1 million in scholarships.

Scholarships are announced each spring.

The foundation's annual benefit concert will be held at 7 p.m. Nov. 15 at Central Crossing High School, 4500 Big Run South Road.

An honors band and honors choir composed of instrumental and vocal music students from the district's four high schools will perform, along with the Grove City Community Winds.

The band and choir directors at each school choose some of their principal players and vocalists to participate in the concert, said Slane, who serves as the foundation's honors concert chairman.

Tickets are $10, $5 for students. The evening will include a silent auction and raffle.

The event is one of several major fundraisers held annually to help support the foundation, Waugh said. The others include the foundation's annual dinner and auction, the Drive Forward Golf Outing, the MSG Shawn T. Hannon Memorial Golf Tournament and the Back-to-School BBQ that benefits the foundation and Success Beyond the Classroom.

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