Community Foundation funding helps Dill drive community involvement with Polk County Schools

Finding funding to help provide more educational opportunities for Polk County Schools students. Helping teachers with the cost of pursuing master’s degrees. Working with local organizations to help benefit the community.

These are just a few of the accomplishments of Ronette Dill during the 2021-22 school year in her first year as Grants and Community Partnership Coordinator for Polk County Schools. Dill’s position is funded by the Polk County Community Foundation.

PCCF supports Polk County Schools in numerous ways, but perhaps none is as important as providing the opportunity for Dill’s work. A former principal at Saluda Elementary who also served as the district’s Director of Curriculum and Instruction during more than 30 years of service in Polk County Schools, Dill’s efforts enable a wide range of community initiatives with the school system as well as helping secure financial support for projects within the district to benefit students and educators.

“This position affords the opportunity for deeper and more meaningful collaboration between Polk County Schools and community organizations and individuals,” Dill said. “These collaborative efforts have produced amazing outcomes for both the school system and our community.

“One special project during the 2021-22 school year stands out to me. Outreach consistently supports our students and families throughout the school year. This past school year I helped coordinate, with MANNA Foodbank, student food drives to collect non-perishable food to give back to Outreach. Our schools collected 6,754.77 lbs of food, a total value of $11,483.11.”

During the 2021-22 academic year, a few of Dill’s accomplishments included:

* Facilitated an integrated, collaborative project with ComMotion and Carretica Cuentera, “The Rhythms of My Community,” for students in grades 1-3. The project included Latin American dance and storytelling/writing workshops for students, and each student and teacher received a copy of the bilingual book, “The Rhythms of My Community.”

* Helped secure grant funding for school counselors to attend the N.C. School Counselor Association state conference

* Via a PCCF grant, worked with school administrators to hold free meals at their schools to support employees and boost morale

* Helped the family of Janice Anderson Brumley establish an educational grant in honor of Mrs. Brumley to benefit Polk County teachers

* Worked with PCCF to reinstate the Slater Excellence in Teaching Awards process. Seven teachers received Slater Awards for educational travel experiences

Those efforts and others are enabled by PCCF’s backing of Dill’s role. The Foundation, established in 1975, is dedicated to improving the quality of life for all citizens in Polk County.

“Polk County Schools and our students and families benefit a great deal by partnering with the Polk County Community Foundation on numerous initiatives and grants,” said Superintendent Aaron Greene. “One of the most important ways PCCF supports students and our schools is by providing funding for the district’s Grants and Community Partnership Coordinator position.

“Since moving into this role last year, Ronette Dill has increased both access to grants and community partnership opportunities and student and staff engagement in these opportunities. Given her experience and leadership prowess, she is truly an asset to our young people and the system overall. We are indebted to PCCF for enabling us to provide unique and impactful programming, and for their investment in our students and community.”

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