2019 Grant Recipients

FRANCISCO — At Saturday’s 4th Annual FarmFest there was an important first. The Our Communities of Northwest Stokes Foundation announced the first winners of a newly launched grants program.

The total amount of grants announced was $3,500, divided among six recipients. The program is made possible through funds raised from previous FarmFest events, making it appropriate that these first recipients were announced and presented at this year’s festivities.

The program is to be used locally, returning the community’s funds for the betterment of Northwest Stokes County. Examples of projects the foundation is eager to support under this new program are music or other arts events, sports events, classes or workshops, competitions, training, school trips, gardens or trails, exhibits, children’s activities and research within the area.

These goals are represented well in the projects of the first recipients. Five of the six grants were awarded to teachers for projects associated North Stokes High School, Lawsonville Elementary School or Nancy Reynolds Elementary School. The other grant awarded was in support of a local conservation project.

“We are pleased to have had such a successful start to the grants program and we look forward to the impacts to our area these projects will bring.” said Paul Blue, president of the foundation.

Those receiving the inaugural grants are:

  • Kerrie Harrison, the Exceptional Children’s teacher at Nancy Reynolds, who received a $500 grant to support a tree project inspired by Shel Silverstein’s book, “The Giving Tree.” Working with Master Gardeners Robert Holder and Ken Holdeman, students will plant and grow apple trees in greenhouses over the winter. In the spring, some trees will be added to the community garden at school and some will be sent out to the greater community;

  • Stacy C. Buck, instructional coach at Lawsonville Elementary, who received a $500 grant to support the procurement of Kindergarten Foundations Teacher Kits to help with a reading program;

  • Joshua Francis, received $500 to conduct a prescribed burn and to plant native wildflowers and grasses on property along Highway 89. Josh is a lifelong resident of Francisco and has a special interest in the history of our land;

  • Nicholas Brandes, of North Stokes High School, who received a $500 grant to provide support for the school’s wrestling program. Brandes, who teaches English and coaches, said “This grant will mean we can get some new headgear and travel to tournaments. It will really help our team improve and we’re extremely grateful.”

  • Janis Henderson-Hunsucker , of North Stokes High School, who received a $500 grant in support of a visiting artist’s program.

  • Ben Hall, of North Stokes High School Agriculture Department, who received a $1,000 grant to enhance the North Stokes High School campus trail. The project will be used to teach science and create a beautiful nature trail for the school and the public.

Paula Duggan-King, Our Communities of Northwest Stokes