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Hampton Alliance for Educational Excellence recognized for 25 years of giving

| Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017, 3:33 p.m.
Hampton students working on Escape Room Breakout kits at the high school.
Hampton students working on Escape Room Breakout kits at the high school.

Recognition was given to the Hampton Alliance for Educational Excellence for 25 years of service to the Hampton School District.

The school board and administration presented an award to the HAEE president Jacqlyn Boggs at its Sept. 5 board meeting on behalf of the organization.

“The HAEE grants help all the schools benefit, not just one department,” said school Superintendent Michael Loughead, adding the support and organization is unique.

“I've never seen anything like it. It's quite remarkable,” he said.

HAEE provides funding to teachers and other staff for initiatives the HAEE members consider innovative and worthwhile. Since it's usually something outside of the district's regular budget, educators usually turn to HAEE to apply for a grant. Often, Loughead said, if these HAEE-funded projects succeed, the district will consider budgeting for it in the future.

HAEE granted one of its largest awards — $25,000 toward a STEAM lab currently under construction at the middle school, according to the presentation at the meeting. The center will be used specifically for STEAM activities, robotics, and creative ideas enhanced by technology.

The flexible seating at Wyland Elementary also came from HAEE funding. Already at Poff through a Target grant, flexible and moveable furniture is something the district has found successful and is looking to fund in the future, said Loughead.

Other projects funded through HAEE include virtual cadaver demonstrations, a composting program at the high school, 3D printer at the middle school, STEAM bins, a literary arts magazine at the middle school and escape room break-out kits and iPads at the high school.

The elementary schools also received Sphero SPRK Robots at Central, snowshoes at Poff, and K-2 Raz-Kids at both Poff and Wyland, to name a few.

And they also award scholarships to high school students.

Since its inception, HAEE has provided Hampton schools with more than $1 million.

“I look at these grants and can see how they affect a large number of students,” Boggs said.

She said they awarded $44,646 in grants for the 2016-17 school year.

HAEE is able to provide its fundingsolely through generous donations from the public, said Boggs. This year, itse holding a “25 for 25” campaign in celebration of HAEE's 25th anniversary, requesting residents donate at least $25.

So far, Boggs said, $8,000 has been raised

The HAEE's biggest fundraiser is its annual 5K race and walk — this year on Oct. 14. Cost to participate is $20, or $25 after early registration. The race begins at 9 a.m. at Hartwood Acres.

Along with entertainment, food and children's activities, there will be basket raffles featuring Steelers autographed photos, Walt Disney World tickets, break-out games, Escape Room tickets and more, said Boggs.

She said last year's race grossed an estimated $34,000.

Boggs said racers can register on the HAEE website or on race day beginning at 7:30 a.m. The night before is Hampton's homecoming game where she said they'll be having a Friday-night tailgate.

“So we will all get up early, and run and have pizza and get ready to watch the high schoolers get ready for the dance later,” she said.

Natalie Beneviat is a Tribune-Review contributor.

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