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School News

The Washington County Community Foundation (WCCF) recently awarded a $25,000 EIO Fund grant to Ringgold School District to initiate a steel drum band program.

 

EIO
Clockwise from top left are: High school principal Jason Minniti; assistant superintendent Jeffrey Matty; band director Dawn Mason; WCCF trustee Gwendolyn Simmons; and superintendent Dr. Karen Polkabla.

The EIO fund, which awards grants to innovative programs at local public schools, is one of three pass-through funds created by the WCCF to accept Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program contributions.

WCCF trustee Gwendolyn Simmons recently met with Ringgold School District representatives, including superintendent Dr. Karen Polkabla, assistant superintendent Jeffrey Matty, high school principal Jason Minniti, and band director Dawn Mason, to present the grant and take a tour of the high school's music department.

"Since the WCCF's grant-making focus is county-wide, there have been many awards distributed to Mon Valley schools and charities over the years. But as a longstanding volunteer in the community and former educator, I am particularly pleased with this grant that initiates a new educational program in the arts," Simmons stated.

"The steel drum band will provide our students with a fantastic opportunity to enhance their educational experience. In fact, research has indicated there is a strong correlation between music education and academic achievement," remarked Dr. Polkabla. "This grant from the Community Foundation will enable us to launch a new and exciting program with the potential to impact many Ringgold students for many years to come. It is an incredible gift to our district."

Thanks to the generous contributions of corporate sponsors including: Allegheny Technologies; Audiology Doctors of PA; CONSOL Energy; EQT Energy; First Commonwealth Bank; FTS International; Gateway Health Plan; Highmark; Northwest Savings Bank; and Washington Financial. The WCCF has cumulatively awarded a grand total of more than $540,000 in EIO Fund grants to public schools across the county because of their generosity. A complete list of grants awarded by the WCCF is available on www.wccf.net.

In addition to the EIO Fund, the Foundation also accepts EITC contributions through its ESO Fund (which awards scholarships for financially needy students to attend qualifying K-12 private schools) and EPK Fund (which awards scholarships for financially needy students to attend qualifying pre-school programs).

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