Mississippi Association of Partners in Education #PartnershipPower
2011 Governor's Award: Amory School District and Gilmore Foundation
Gilmore Foundation is seeded in a long history of partnering
with the Amory School District. From the time the Gilmore brothers first came
to Amory, their commitment to the community and schools has been apparent.
Initially they chose projects and ventures that built the community, such as
banks, general stores and businesses. But shortly after that, they took
interest in churches and education. The church was actually one of the first
schools in the community.
Gilmore Foundation has funded a broad scope of projects that
have impacted the students both in a personal level and an academic level. They
have funded projects to purchase coats and clothing addressing the more
personal needs of students and have funded numerous projects to address the
academic need of students. Their commitment has been long-term and ongoing.
Projects have provided laptops for graduating seniors, computer labs, and other
advanced technology devices such as Elmo’s and Mimio’s for classrooms and
wireless Internet connections for the whole city.
They have been instrumental along with other partners in
providing a school nurse position that has been pivotal in advancing the
Coordinated School Health Program in the district. As a result, Amory Middle
School was named one of the top 10 healthiest schools in America and eligible
students now have access to fully certified Medicaid clinics and a full-time
nurse each day at their school.
The Gilmore Foundation has implemented programs to better
prepare every preschool child for entry into kindergarten and have implemented
programs to educate parents. Gilmore Foundation funding has provided numerous
reading, math and science projects in the district. These are but a few of the
projects supported by Gilmore Foundation funding.
The vision does not end with the projects listed above. It
is ongoing and discussed on a regular basis. The doors of the Gilmore
Foundation are always open and the board members eager to hear new proposals
for partnering with the district. Frequently the projects impact every student
in the district, and as seen with the wireless Internet connection, some have
the potential to touch every household in the community.
Gilmore Foundation has responded to many of the needs
identified by the Amory School District. They have provided for some of the
needs alone and have partnered with community groups for others. Whether acting
alone or in a group response to a district need, the Gilmore Foundation has
eagerly stepped up to the plate to provide for the educational needs of
students in Amory.
Duration of partnership: 6 years 14+ volunteers Impacts 1,885 students
2006-2010, Foundation has donated approximately $817,000 to district. Funds
used to purchase laptops for every high-school senior; computer lab established
at middle school and technology equipment given to vocational center. Funding
for AmoryNet to provide high-speed wireless Internet access to entire
community. Hired part-time school nurse, expanded Coordinated School Health
Program. Renovations in high-school auditorium. Graduation coach hired to
assist at-risks students and strengthen drop-out prevention efforts. Teenage
pregnancy prevention education program. “Virginia Fund” to purchase coats for
needy children. Gilmore Early Learning Initiative to better prepare students
entering kindergarten. Conference center built for district.
Graduation rates improved from 100th place in the state to 5th
place from 2006-2009. Students have access to a modern computer lab. TeenBiz
reading programs increased nearly every student’s reading level over a two-year
period. All students and teachers have access to nursing care during the school
day and beyond.