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DCS accumulating grants

Demopolis Superintendent of Education Dr. Al Griffin figures that in a year’s time, he is responsible for approximately $150,000 in expenses on the school system’s books.

That figure is a compilation of salary, benefits and supply expenses tied to the performance of the job of leading the city’s school system.

Economic times being what they are, Griffin said he set a goal for the system and for himself: to close the school year having at least offset the cost of his personal salary.

“I don’t have any hobbies,” Griffin said of the after-hour work he has undertaken writing grants for the school system. “Evenings, Saturdays, the weekend or whenever, I’ll sit down and see what kind of grants are out there that we could put to use here in Demopolis and I’ll write out a proposal.”

Griffin has enlisted some help from other Demopolis school and office administrators and learned last week that his goal of “paying for himself” had been exceeded.

“My goal in all this is just to bring in at least as much in grants as what my salary and benefits are,” he said. “I want to give at least that much back to the school system.”

Last week, DCS learned they had been awarded a $150,000 through Alabama’s Ready To Work (RTW) curriculum that would teach students about the insurance and finance industry.

To-date, that has been the largest grant awarded with others being a $30,000 award that purchased a Mobile Cart Lab; $47,000 for rededication of at-risk youth; $10,000 for after-school programs at Westside and U.S. Jones Elementary Schools and a $50,000 grant for geothermal heating and air units at U.S. Jones.

The grand total, $287,000, leaves Griffin within striking distance of doubling his goal.

“We’re just one small grant away,” he said, noting that there are several other grants both big and small still pending approval. “I’ve got high hopes that we will greatly exceed that.”