Amory School District and Gilmore Foundation

Gilmore Foundation is seeded in a long history of partnering with the Amory School District. From the time the Gilmore brothers first came to Amory, their commitment to the community and schools has been apparent. Initially they chose projects and ventures that built the community, such as banks, general stores and businesses. But shortly after that, they took interest in churches and education. The church was actually one of the first schools in the community.

Gilmore Foundation has funded a broad scope of projects that have impacted the students both in a personal level and an academic level. They have funded projects to purchase coats and clothing addressing the more personal needs of students and have funded numerous projects to address the academic need of students. Their commitment has been long-term and ongoing. Projects have provided laptops for graduating seniors, computer labs, and other advanced technology devices such as Elmo’s and Mimio’s for classrooms and wireless Internet connections for the whole city.

They have been instrumental along with other partners in providing a school nurse position that has been pivotal in advancing the Coordinated School Health Program in the district. As a result, Amory Middle School was named one of the top 10 healthiest schools in America and eligible students now have access to fully certified Medicaid clinics and a full-time nurse each day at their school.

The Gilmore Foundation has implemented programs to better prepare every preschool child for entry into kindergarten and have implemented programs to educate parents. Gilmore Foundation funding has provided numerous reading, math and science projects in the district. These are but a few of the projects supported by Gilmore Foundation funding.

The vision does not end with the projects listed above. It is ongoing and discussed on a regular basis. The doors of the Gilmore Foundation are always open and the board members eager to hear new proposals for partnering with the district. Frequently the projects impact every student in the district, and as seen with the wireless Internet connection, some have the potential to touch every household in the community.

Gilmore Foundation has responded to many of the needs identified by the Amory School District. They have provided for some of the needs alone and have partnered with community groups for others. Whether acting alone or in a group response to a district need, the Gilmore Foundation has eagerly stepped up to the plate to provide for the educational needs of students in Amory.

Duration of partnership: 6 years
14+ volunteers
Impacts 1,885 students

Activities: Between 2006-2010, Foundation has donated approximately $817,000 to district. Funds used to purchase laptops for every high-school senior; computer lab established at middle school and technology equipment given to vocational center. Funding for AmoryNet to provide high-speed wireless Internet access to entire community. Hired part-time school nurse, expanded Coordinated School Health Program. Renovations in high-school auditorium. Graduation coach hired to assist at-risks students and strengthen drop-out prevention efforts. Teenage pregnancy prevention education program. “Virginia Fund” to purchase coats for needy children. Gilmore Early Learning Initiative to better prepare students entering kindergarten. Conference center built for district.

Results: Graduation rates improved from 100th place in the state to 5th place from 2006-2009. Students have access to a modern computer lab. TeenBiz reading programs increased nearly every student’s reading level over a two-year period. All students and teachers have access to nursing care during the school day and beyond.