MONROE, Ga. — December was a happy month for many local teachers.

In the fourth year of Walton Electric Membership Corp.’s School EmPOWERment Grant program, the cooperative handed out checks totaling $360,338 that will enhance the instructional programs of schools in its service area.

Many of the grants went to schools in the Walton County School District and Social Circle Public Schools, plus one private school, including:

  • Atha Road Elementary, $6,080 (Haley Wilcox, High Interest Readers)
  • Bay Creek Elementary, $4,000 (Audra Knoll, Learning With Technology)
  • Carver Middle, $20,000 (Timothy Holman, Livestock Barn)
  • Harmony Elementary, $7,876 (Kathleen Tarbutton, Aspiring Performers Want to be Heard)
  • Loganville Elementary, $6,750 (Buffie Heard, Building Inquiring Scientists)
  • Loganville High, $7,980 (June Reid, Coffee Shop and Cheer Squad; Carrin Meadows, science equipment)
  • Monroe Area High School, $4,697 (Jess Bush, Teaching STEM Through Robotics)
  • Monroe Elementary School, $6,899 (Zeester Swint, Think Lab)
  • Sharon Elementary, $6,899 (Lori Perry, Think Lab)
  • Social Circle Primary, $3,174 (Brandie Owens, Google Jamboard)
  • Social Circle Middle, $6,380 (Shelbie Casey, Character Education with Wonder; Candice Snowden, CBI Classroom Upgrade)
  • Social Circle High, $4,859 (Brenda Rushing, Up, Up and Away!; Brad Callahan, VR Goggles for Science)
  • Victory Baptist School, $11,200 Cory Lawrence, classroom projectors)
  • Walker Park Elementary, $1,020 (Amanda Martin, SOARing Through Standards)
  • Walnut Grove Elementary, $4,000 (Lucy Townley, Improving Literacy)
  • Walnut Grove High, $5,212 (April Bentley-Amos, DNA Investigation Station; Hilery Wilson, All Hands On Deck for Science)
  • Youth Elementary, $2,738 (Jarrod Tyler, ukuleles and storage cart)

The money comes from unclaimed refunds. After exhausting all attempts to find the rightful owners, Georgia law allows the money to be used for education and other community improvements.

This year’s disbursements bring the all-time grant total to more than $1.4 million.