The results from the Community Knights grant funding to Spratley Gifted Center has been astounding; providing a learning experience that impacts lives and promotes ecological consciousness. Community Knights strive to ensure GIFT grant awardees are innovating and growing their programs. Their primary goal in fundraising efforts and grant awards are based on community collaboration. The GIFT program has a few simple, yet strict, requirements: All grants must directly benefit the citizens of the Virginia Peninsula of Hampton Roads; all awardees must be 501(c)(3) non-profits, public school organizations, or non-profits that the Community Knights’ Board deems a benefit to the Community, which demonstrate the ideals of Community Knights and show fiscal responsibility with the use of the grant.
Spratley Gifted Center’s 4th grade team received a grant reward of $2200, to ensure every 4th grade student would have the opportunity to participate in the annual fish release field trip in Waynesboro, VA on April 29, 2017. The trip took the students to the South River to participate in Riverfest with staff, students, and families. They had the opportunity to release a Brook Trout into the South River and were able to participate in many educational opportunities. The grant allowed Spratley to offer the field trip free of charge for students and a parent so that financial barriers did not prevent any student from attending. As a result of the students’ participation:
The students raised the fish from eggs and throughout the year they observed and measured the growth of the fish.
The students could then see the trout being released into their natural habitat to further populate the South River with native fish.
Educational opportunities included presentations on other species of animals native to the area like birds, fish, and amphibians.
The students seined for other native species and prey in the river including crawfish, worms, and larvae.
Parent Amy Pearson stated, ”It was a pleasure to see the students so engaged in learning about the South River ecosystem and having the opportunity to be hands on in environmental sustainability.”
Community Knights next round of grants will be issued this fall and they look forward to again supporting public school organizations and non-profits that are a benefit to our community.