$13,700 in Student Scholarships Awarded to Pickens County Students
The second year of the Bent Tree Foundation’s Scholarship Grant Program was completed with the awarding of twenty-two scholarships totaling $13,700 to graduating seniors from Pickens High School plus two awarded previously by the Bent Tree Saddle Club. This represents an increase in scholarships of seven and in funding of $4,200 over last year’s totals. These scholarship recipients were honored at a reception on Sunday, May 6, at Club Tamarack. Four types of scholarships were awarded: five general scholarships and four designated, funded through donations to the Foundation; five tennis and six golf, funded through the Bent Tree Tennis Club and the Bent Tree Ladies’ and Men’s Golf Associations.
The five general scholarships were presented by Bill Bapst, Chairman of Bent Tree Foundation, Inc., and awarded to the following graduates of Pickens High School: Kaitlin Renee Dykes (Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College), Harrison Alexander Kreafle (Georgia Tech), Stephany E. Navarro (Dalton State College), Kara Catherine Rumble (University of Georgia), and Alissa Leann Weaver (Chattahoochee Technical College).
Three designated scholarships requiring attendance at North Georgia College & State University were awarded to (1) Kaley Salone Brown in honor of Linda Brown August, a former North Georgia College & State University faculty member, (2) Jarad Lee Byers, in honor of Stephen W. Thompson, an alumnus of North Georgia College & State University, and (3) Sawyer Cash Henderson in honor of Christopher C. Thompson, an alumnus of North Georgia College & State University. The fourth dedicated scholarship was awarded to Austin Scott Stone (Dalton State College) in honor of Thurman Slone.
The Bent Tree Tennis Committee partnered with the Foundation in awarding five scholarships to students participating in the Pickens High tennis program in addition to other criteria: academic excellence and school and community activities. Jesse Hunter representing the Bent Tree Tennis Club assisted Bill Bapst in awarding scholarships to Kristen Marie Garner (Dalton State College), Samuel Cale Heath (Georgia College and State University), Hannah Marie Keeter (North Georgia College and State University), Brooke Elizabeth Smith (Word of Life Bible Institute), and Katie Elizabeth Tippens (Georgia College & State University).
The Bent Tree golf community, represented by Carol Slone, partnered with the Foundation in awarding six scholarships. The Bent Tree Golf Ladies “Nine Holers” awarded one scholarship to Sarah Elizabeth Adams (North Georgia College & State University) for her participation in the Pickens High golf program as well as meeting academic, activities and service criteria. The ladies also awarded a designated scholarship to Kristina Leah Bravo (Young Harris College) in memory of Flo Matthiesen. Kristina is following in Mrs. Matthiesen’s footsteps by pursuing a career in Early Childhood Education. The Bent Tree Ladies’ and Men’s Golf Associations awarded four scholarships to the following: Carly Noel Culverhouse (University of West Georgia), Amber Leann Hester (Armstrong Atlantic State University), George Griffith Montgomery (Kennesaw State University), and Julius Griffieth Weyman (Southern Polytechnic State University).
The Bent Tree Foundation is honored to support these young men and women recognizing their outstanding scholastic achievement and school and community service. Fifty-two exceptionally qualified students applied for assistance this year, and the Foundation was able to help twenty of those applicants. In addition, seventeen teachers applied for educational grants to provide programs that will motivate our children and encourage them to strive to do their very best. These grant requests totaled $28,700, and the Foundation was able to honor six of them for $4,450. The Foundation needs your help in continuing and growing this scholarship and grant program so that we can better benefit our young people by being able to award more scholarships and more grant requests.
$4,450 in Grants Awarded to Pickens County Teachers
The Bent Tree Foundation awarded six grants totaling $4,450 for projects submitted by Pickens County teachers during a recent reception held in their honor at Club Tamarack in Bent Tree. These projects will enrich and expand the educational opportunities for the students in our schools.
Bridget Harkins, a teacher at Pickens High School, was awarded $900 toward the purchase of a MimioTeach Interactive System which will provide a positive learning experience for up to 200 students in grades 9 through 12 (special and regular education) per year. This system will convert any whiteboard into an interactive learning board. Students will become part of the lesson by using hands-on technology to direct the lesson and to experience entertaining and exciting learning experiences. Stacia Walker from Harmony Elementary School received $600 toward the purchase of student dictionary/thesaurus bundles for use in studying and developing dictionary and thesaurus skills and to improve English aptitude. This project will affect over 100 second grade students. Jasper Middle School teacher Laurie Taylor was awarded $1,100 for her project affecting over 200 eighth grade students.
The primary goal of her project is to enhance student understanding of forensic science and the justice system while providing applicable elements in all core curriculum areas including math, reading, science, social studies and art. Patricia Barnard, a teacher from Tate Elementary School, received $350 for a project in which 60 fourth grade students will be directly engaged in learning blocks in a cross-curricular approach where curriculum standards are taught through relevant, high-interest and integrated curriculum rather than isolated subjects. Harmony Elementary School Teacher Renee Carder received $1,100 for her project focusing on fourth grade reading. This project will involve a FrontRow ToGo sound system which will increase student attention and perception. At a previous school, Ms. Carder experienced the positive effect this system has on student performance and classroom behavior. Over 125 fourth grade students will profit from this project. Jasper Elementary School teacher Paige Turner was awarded $400 for a project entitled S.O.A.R (Save Our American Raptors, Inc.). This project will involve over 550 kindergarten through fifth grade students and will bring S.O.A.R., a non-profit environmental education organization, to Jasper Elementary for three 30-40 minute programs for all grade levels. These teachers are to be applauded for dedication to their profession, their students, and the promotion of quality education in our schools.
The grant program is a major focus of the Bent Tree Foundation due to the large number of students who will benefit from these projects. In this, its second year, the Foundation received over $28,700 in grant requests and was able to award $4,450 to six grant recipients.