The prize patrol is at it again.
Fourteen Beaufort County schools teachers were surprised Wednesday with grants from the Foundation for Educational Excellence. The fund, part of the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry, has surprised teachers in their classrooms twice each year since 2009 with the news they will receive money for a special project.
In total, the foundation distributed $5,000 in grants, which ranged from $120 to $500. The money will fund the purchase of reading intervention software, calculators and more.
Beaufort Middle School band teacher Dana Scaglione received $130 to buy 30 recorders for his general music students. Scaglione said the recorders will get students who aren't in band playing an instrument and reading sheet music.
He plans to track how the students perform in other academic areas. Research has shown that playing an instrument can improve cognitive development and grades, he said.
"You don't need to spend $1 million to make a difference," Scaglione said.
The foundation aimed to fund projects that could have the most impact on the greatest number of students.
"We're looking for the biggest bang for the buck," said Louise Lewis, chairwoman of the foundation's grants committee.
The grants were paid for by a donation from First Citizens Bank.
The foundation solicits donations from businesses and individuals and hosts a fundraiser each year to raise money for the grants.
This year's fundraiser is slated for 6 to 9 p.m. March 2 at the Country Club of Hilton Head. Tickets may be purchased online at www.foundationedexcellence.com.