2019-20 Innovation Grants for Elementary Schools

October 15, 2019

October 15, 2019: At the Lexington County School District One Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday, October 15, the Lexington One Educational Foundation recognized the recipients of Innovation Grants for Elementary Schools. Lexington, Oak Grove and Pleasant Hill Elementary Schools each received $5,000 Innovation Grants for the 2019-20 school year. Total grant funds of $15,000 will positively impact more than 2,200 students in Lexington School District One during this school year. 

Foundation Executive Director Julie Washburn said the Foundation developed these grants to advance strategic innovation at the elementary level. “These amazing projects give students an opportunity to learn in new, intriguing ways,” she said. Schools applied for up to $5,000 in grant funds and a 10 percent match was required. 

Congratulations to the Educational Foundation’s 2019-20 Innovation Grant award winners: 

Lexington Elementary ─ Principal and Program Coordinator Jim H. Hamby 

“Let Their Voices be Heard” grant project will purchase innovative technology to increase student engagement and discussion. Each 5K–5th grade classroom will receive a Qball microphone made of soft, durable foam that can be thrown from student to student. The Qball will allow each student to be heard clearly by everyone in the classroom. Qballs can also be used for assemblies and other special programs. 

Oak Grove Elementary − Principal and Program Coordinator Christy Graham and Teacher Deborah Harmon 

This “Idea Lab” project will provide hands-on, design-based learning to students at Oak Grove Elementary School. Students will learn through inquisitive, hands-on activities that focus on science, math, engineering, critical thinking skills and imagination. 

Students will learn to identify a problem or goal, analyze the issues involved, and consider creative solutions. This lab environment will also encourage students who are not always successful in traditional classroom settings to shine. 

Pleasant Hill Elementary ─ Principal Margaret B. Mitchum and Program Coordinators Besty Goodman, Jennifer Jones, and Emalee Stickney 

The “Powerful, Purposeful and Positive Play” project will transform the kindergarten playground into a space for creative thinking and exploration. Grant funds will provide “tinker” tables, an outdoor kitchen, spaces for gardening and art, large wooden blocks for building, and small shade structures. Older students will also be able to visit the play area to create and explore. 

This is the fifth year that the Lexington County School District One Educational Foundation has offered Innovation Grants. Since 2014, 23 grants totaling more than $100,000 have benefited nearly 15,000 elementary school students. 


invested in Lexington District One in fiscal year 2022-2023


All K-2 students benefited from the Counting Collections for Mathematics Grant


Awarded in Scholarships and/or Higher Education Grants