Black Fox, Michigan Avenue schools receive Lowe’s Toolbox grants
by By CHRISTY ARMSTRONG Banner Staff Writer
Jun 16, 2013 | 970 views | 0 0 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Toolbox for Education

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Two Bradley County schools were recently chosen as recipients of grants that will go toward improving the school buildings’ exteriors, giving them the chance to make better use of their outdoor spaces.

Black Fox Elementary School and Michigan Avenue Elementary School were both chosen as recipients of the Toolbox For Education grants awarded by home improvement retailer Lowe’s.

The national retailer offers grants ranging from $2,000 to $5,000 to public schools in need of improvements to their properties, according to its website. The two local schools were chosen out of hundreds of schools that applied for grants nationwide, and both received the maximum grant amount of $5,000.

Kayla Kropff, a pro services specialist at the Cleveland Lowe’s location, said it is unusual for two schools in the same community to be awarded the grants.

“We’re happy to see the local schools get it,” Kropff said.

She said schools were able to propose either projects that would impact students in certain school grades or entire student bodies. One local school will use its grant to pay for a project for a specific age group, while the other school’s grant will affect all students.

Black Fox Elementary Principal Kim Fisher said the grant will be used to renovate the school’s early learning playground for kindergarten and first grade students.

“We’re very excited about this,” Fisher said. “It represents a great collaboration between the school and Lowe’s.”

The school will also receive funding for the project from the Family Resource Agency, she said.

With the school’s increase in the number of students over the years, she added that the children were in need of more space to play so they can stay active between lessons.

Fisher said kindergarten teacher Emily Jones wrote the proposal sent to the Lowe’s program to be considered for the grant.

Angela Lawson, principal of Michigan Avenue Elementary, said the school will make various changes to its exterior, making it “more inviting” and “more kid friendly.”

Improvements are expected to include planting a variety of shrubs and flowers and taking care of a fence that needs to be repaired to update the school’s look outside.

“We are very grateful,” Lawson said. “It will make for some great improvements.”

Members of the school’s Parent Teacher Organization wrote the grant proposal, she said.

Both schools have already been presented with $5,000 checks so they can begin their proposed projects. Fisher and Lawson said work on both their school’s projects will begin this summer.