It is amazing to see the impact one person can have on a community. Nearly 60 years ago Mrs. Etta Beauchamp wanted to help students in Amory. That that time scholarships and loans were not available for needy students to attend college so she started a student loan program. After her death the program was managed by two other women. When they retired, money remained in the account and they had to decide what to do with the balance. The decided the money ($5,800) would be placed in the Quality Education Foundation, a newly formed foundation to aid the school district in funding creative and innovative teacher projects in grades K-12 in the Amory School District. The donation planted seed money that has grown many projects in the district.
Quality Education Foundation funding has been available to teachers in the form of a competitive grant for about six years. Many projects have made it possible for teachers to provide creative and innovative projects in their classrooms. Like other partners for our school district, Quality Education Foundation positioned itself to respond to a wide range of needs in the district. They have provided books for media centers, art projects, technology such as computers, robots, science equipment, and much more.
They have funded and participated in “Capturing Kids’ Hearts,” a program to build social skills in students and to provide students an adult connection at school each day. Many of the projects allow students to have a hands-on approach to learning and allow them to see how what they are learning will be necessary in the future.
Since 1997 Quality Education Foundation has given more than $300,000 to the Amory School District. They have fundraising projects and meet often with the district staff to discuss the needs of our teachers and students. This ongoing relationship has enriched educational opportunities for students in many learning areas. The district has seen individual and corporate improvements in student performance. The partnership has benefitted both teachers and students and has focused on direct needs of the district. Without this support many of the activities would not have been possible.
The commitment of one woman by starting a student loan program for needy students has blossomed into a program that meets a variety of needs for students and teachers. Her support encouraged the two other women to partner and carry forth her vision, and now Amory School District has a foundation of support. This is a perfect example of how one person can impact a community.
Duration of partnership: 15 years
Impacts 1,885 students
Activities: Goal of QEF and district to provide creative, innovative projects to encourage student learning. Funding provided to teachers in the form of competitive grants ranging from $1,000-$4,000 each. Since 1997 QEF has given more than $300,000 to the district to fund special projects, including art, music education, theater, math, reading, health and fitness, technology and ACT preparation. Also provide funding for Envirothon program, “Capturing Kids Hearts” program. Science Carnival held since 2004. CPR and first-aid training, fitness centers established for district.
Results: QEF funds 15-20 projects annually. Ongoing student academic gains in reading, math, science and English. More learning materials available in media center. ACT prep classes helped improve student scores by an average of 3.4 points. Amory Middle School named one of the top 10 healthiest schools in the nation by Health Magazine (2008).