$19,450 in private grants awarded to eight High Point public schools

(Photo: Northwood PTA member Liz Lynch, Principals’ Fund for Student Needs Committee member Liz Samuels, High Point Community Foundation Board member William Laney, Principal Scott Winslow, PTA member Lorinda Umphlett and Principals’ Fund for Student Needs Committee member Dr. Allie Blosser.)

Public school principals are under constant pressure to provide safe, positive and engaging learning environments. In High Point, their schools can receive much-needed boosts with grant money from a unique philanthropic program of the High Point Community Foundation.

The Principals’ Fund, founded in 2008, provides grants for school needs—determined by principals and their staffs—that might otherwise go unmet. This might include two-way radios for enhanced campus safety, or a learning lab to nurture interest in STEM curricula or a sousaphone that doesn’t require duct tape.

Principals’ Fund for Student Needs Committee member Doris Davis (right) presents check to Oak View principal Heather Bare to purchase an interactive projector.

The fund itself is comprised of financial gifts from local individuals and organizations and is managed by a volunteer committee that works with the Community Foundation staff to determine individual school gifts. Annually, the committee reviews grant applications from High Point area public school principals to determine how to best distribute grant funds.

Then comes the fun part. Committee members visit the grantee schools and present checks to the principals to make their projects happen.

In February, the Principals’ Fund committee presented eight checks totaling $19,450 (see a complete list of grants below).

For example, Shadybrook Elementary principal George Green received a grant to purchase communications gear for staff and faculty use in maintaining campus safety.

The High Point Central High School Marching Bison band will enhance its ranks with new equipment, thanks to principal Bryan Johnson’s successful grant application.

“Mainly, it’s buying a new sousaphone,” says Central band director Dustin Jennings. “The ones that we had were held together by duct tape and we had to borrow our nicest one from another school. These instruments are prohibitively expensive and now we have some grant funds to match with the Principals’ Fund grant and we’ll be able to purchase one.”

Doris Davis (left) after presenting grant check to Triangle Lake Montessori School Principal Dr. Pam Ford.

Principal Kris Wheat can now begin developing a student maker space in the Johnson Street Global Studies Elementary School media center to help make math and science more fun for students. Modeled after maker space clubs for grown-ups, the Johnson Global school maker space will have building materials, circuit board kits and, hopefully, a 3D printer.

“I’m just real excited!” says Johnson Global’s Principal Wheat. “It’s all about being creative and engaging and I think it really ties in with putting things in our kids’ hands and letting them be creative to develop critical thinking skills so they can then EXPLAIN what they’re thinking and how they’re learning.”

Scott Winslow, principal of grant recipient Northwood Elementary is upgrading audio-visual technology in the school’s assembly room and has advice for his peers.

“Take advantage of the Principals’ Fund!” says Winslow.  “It’s a great way of supporting our schools.”

The Principals’ Fund is also an opportunity for anyone in the community to become an educational philanthropist. The fund accepts gifts of any size to help ensure growth do even more projects can be underwritten.

Principal George Green (standing, right foreground) with fourth grade class at Shadybrook Elementary School. Principal Green secured a grant for communications technology at the school.


Principals’ Fund member and former principal Dr. Gilda Scott and Johnson Street Global School principal Kris Wheat show thank you cards from students

2017 Principals’ Fund Grants Summary 

  • Total Awarded:  $19,450 
  • Middle College at GTCC-HP:$2,800 — Part of a broad student technology project to provide laptop accessibility to all students. This grant will partially fund six new laptop computers.
  • Shadybrook Elementary:$1,400 — Funds will be used to purchase eight new walkie-talkies to better provide communication for student/staff safety and well-being.
  • High Point Central: $3,100— Band and orchestra classes are in need of instruments to replace those that are worn-out. Funds will partially cover expenses for a sousaphone and several stringed instruments.
  • Johnson Street Global Studies: $3,600 — Partial funding for the creation of a Makerspace in the Media Center.
  • Oak View Elementary: $2,300 — Funding will complete the installment of an interactive projector in one new classroom.
  • Northwood Elementary:$3,500 — School-wide events are conducted in the school’s cafeteria. These funds will provide a projection system that will complete the school’s technology update.
  • Penn-Griffin School for the Arts: $650 — The visual arts department needed two new laptops to replace the only computer in the department that no longer worked.
  • Triangle Lake Montessori Elementary: $2,100— To provide partial funding for laptops for student use.

To apply for a grant please visit the website at https://www.hpcommunityfoundation.org/programs/principals_fund/To contribute to the Principals’ Fund, contact Paul Lessard at the High Point Community Foundation, (336) 882-3298, or visit the website at https://www.hpcommunityfoundation.org/donate/.

For more information on the fund visit this page: https://www.hpcommunityfoundation.org/programs/principals_fund/