Demopolis City Schools Foundation

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 4, 2005

With the new school year approaching, the Demopolis City Schools Foundation is gearing up for another year of awarding grants, holding fundraisers and working to foster and promote excellence in the Demopolis City School System.

The Foundation was formed in 1993 by Demopolis residents who were concerned about the future of the Demopolis city schools. In its 12 years, it has been successful at enhancing programs, projects and equipment in classrooms at each Demopolis city school.

Currently, the Foundation is working on its greatest endeavor yet–Tiger Court at Demopolis High School.

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Tiger Court is a place for students to hang out between classes and a place for alumni to show their support, said Jan McDonald, executive director of the Foundation.

“It’s a nice, positive addition to the city,” she said.

Tiger Court will be constructed of 8-inch red brick squares and 16-inch gray concrete squares. The squares are available for purchase, and each can be engraved with a personal message.

The 8-inch squares are

$50 each, and engraving can include up to two lines of 15 letters or numbers, and the 16-inch squares are $90 each, and engraving can include up to three lines of 20 letters or numbers.

To purchase a square, go by the Demopolis City Schools Foundation office, located inside the Chamber of Commerce building in downtown Demopolis.

The Tiger Court project started about five years ago, and thanks to $15,000 in grants the Foundation received last year, construction is set to begin by spring break or next summer.

To make Tiger Court a reality, the Foundation and the Demopolis High School beautification committee are working together. The high school is in charge of landscaping, and the Foundation is in charge of hardscaping.

The Foundation is also gearing up to award $55,000 in grants to teachers at Westside Elementary School, U.S. Jones Elementary, Demopolis Middle School and Demopolis High School. Including this year’s grants, the Foundation has awarded $535,000 to teachers in the Demopolis City School System.

The Demopolis City School System will hold its teacher institute on Tuesday, August 9 at 8:30 a.m. in the Demopolis High School auditorium. At that time, the Foundation will award the Schoolfest trophy, and also speak to teachers and faculty about the importance of submitting grant applications and supporting the Foundation through payroll contribution.

As of this week, the Foundation has received 67 grant applications. The deadline for teachers to submit applications is August 25. The grants committee will meet two weeks later, and award decisions will be made on September 27. Grants most likely will be awarded to teachers on September 29.

To raise money for the grants, the Foundation holds a number of fundraisers throughout the school year.

One upcoming fundraiser is the annual Boston Butt Barbecue on Saturday, November 19. The event will take place at the barbecuing pavilion located next to the Demopolis High School baseball fields.

Another annual fundraiser is Schoolfest. In the spring, each Demopolis city school holds its own festival, age appropriate to the students attending the school. All proceeds from Schoolfest go to the Foundation. Festival activities range from field day at the elementary schools to the DHS fish fry.

Grants are also funded by members and contributors of the Foundation. Anyone interested in supporting the Demopolis City School System can join the Foundation.

Membership rates are as low as $25. Contributions of any amount are also welcome. Drop by the Demopolis City Schools Foundation office to fill out a membership form.