Four Dalton schools were recently awarded Opportunity Grants through the Georgia Department of Education. The grants went to Paul Weaver, physical education teacher at Brookwood School; Clay Fissel, music teacher at Roan School; Tiffany Hunt, music teacher at Westwood School; and Courtenay Cholovich, theatre arts teacher at Hammond Creek Middle School.
The Georgia Department of Education is awarding a second series of Opportunity Grants to help districts expand options and opportunities for their students. The grants total $1,820,804 to support fine arts, health and physical education, and world language, along with summer bridge programs for rural school districts.
The first round of Opportunity Grants was awarded in March 2022.
“Georgia is committed to expanding opportunities for students and providing an enriching educational experience in the core content areas and beyond,” State School Superintendent Woods said. “These grants ensure that students across the state have access to educational opportunities that prepare them for life and keep them engaged in school.”
The grants were awarded in the areas of fine arts, health and physical education, world languages, and summer programs.
At Brookwood School, Weaver said he will use these funds to help develop the school’s soccer program. He will be purchasing outdoor soccer goals for students to use.
“With the title, ‘Soccer Town USA’ we will be able to get the next generation of soccer players started early at Brookwood School,” Weaver said. “From recess, to P.E. classes, to after school care, all students will have a chance to use the goals.”
Roan’s music classroom will soon be filled with percussion after Fissel receives this Opportunity Grant. His plan is to purchase drums to help his classroom achieve a 2-to-1 drum to student ratio.
“The instruments purchased with this grant will provide greater access and accelerated growth by allowing every student to play when we learn melodies, accompaniment patterns, world drumming arrangements, and improvise or compose,” Fissel said. “I have the most incredible students at Roan School. I want to provide them with world-class musical experiences. This grant offers countless opportunities for students to learn how to express themselves through music.”
Tiffany Hunt at Westwood School will also use these grant funds to add to the percussion section of her classroom.
“This grant will enable us to boost our inventory of pitched and non-pitched percussion instruments,” Hunt said. “Many of our current musical instruments are well worn and need to be replaced, and because of our growing student enrollment, more music equipment is needed. With this grant, our students will be able to play, create and collaborate with one another in the music classroom. We are so grateful for this grant and what it will do for the music-making opportunities that come our way.”
Courtenay Cholovich at Hammond Creek Middle School plans on continuing to expand the school’s theatre arts program with these grant funds.
“The grant that I received for Hammond Creek Middle School drama will go toward funding the many hands-on projects that take place in my class,” Cholovich said. “The materials we are able to purchase with this grant go toward lessons on prop design and creation, game development, mask making, costume and set design, and more. I'm very grateful for these funds that help make creative opportunities for the many students who take theatre arts at HCMS!”