In January 2018, GRACE received a $60,000 grant from the Christian Education Charitable Trust (CECT), a branch of the Maclellan Family Foundations. Earlier this month, Mr. Bradley submitted the summative grant report to the CECT. Please take a moment to review report excerpts below and learn more about the exciting progress made possible through the vision and work of several staff members, GRACE parents, students, and the generosity of the CECT.
The CECT grant allowed GRACE to reach the overarching goals of moving Computer Science program ahead more rapidly than the budget allowed, as well as achieving the projected objectives from the initial proposal. The stated objective benchmarks and results:
Increase student participation in STEM and Computer Science related courses.
Student participation increased from forty students at the time of the proposal to ninety-nine students in the spring of 2019. We anticipate that number to increase for the 2019-20 school year.
Students will build ten computers, five to outfit the lab and five to donate.
Students built thirteen computers, surpassing the initial goal of ten. Five of these computers are being donated to local charities: the North Carolina Men’s Baptist Organization, Thrift2Gift, and the Salvation Army.
Expansion of the technology lab, including a connection to the media center.
Facility improvements included the relocation of a wall, the creation of a sliding doorway to connect the media center and technology lab, and a complete renovation of the storage and student workplaces within the lab.
Improve visibility to the community, including hosting three onsite events.
Instead of hosting three large events, the technology team and administration decided to host one large showcase event and several small events featuring outside speakers.
- The GRACE Tech Expo featured a roundtable discussion with three local technology leaders (a lead programmer at EPIC Games, a World Wide Lab Director for Cisco, and a software developer at Role Model Software), student demonstrations of class projects, and several hands-on opportunities for visitors to utilize various technologies, such as flying student-programmed drones, driving robots, playing student-designed games, and examining the student-built computers. There were over 150 attendees to the event, not including the student participants.
- Additionally, through the course of the year, the school hosted eleven speakers from local businesses, including a patent attorney, system analyst, project manager, web developer, and a GRACE alum who is graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in Computer Science.
As you can see, the grant served as a catalyst to several aspects of our computer science program. For pictures and a detailed overview of the grant project, please visit the “GRACE is Granted” website. Looking ahead, we will refine current classes and add additional courses to the computer science program, creating a unified curriculum reaching from Transitional Kindergarten through senior year. We will also build upon the partnerships created with outside organizations and local companies to increase opportunities for our students. Lastly, the successful implementation of the grant monies enables GRACE to apply for future grants through the CECT.
In conclusion, there are many people who made the grant application and implementation possible including: Mark Bianchi, BJay Brown, Michael Bryant, Cathy Cole, Melanie Dunning, Nathan Ennis, Randy Fox, Brian Garrett, Mandy Gill, Paul Hutton, Dave Katz, Lisa McCarthy, Jonathan Mitchell, Dana Morrison, Buddha Nepal, Daniel O’Brien, and Karen O’Conner.