County schools join GivingTuesday organization

By Jeff Linville -

DOBSON — A local school foundation has pledged its support for GivingTuesday, a movement to encourage philanthropy and generosity in the midst of the Christmas shopping season.

The website states, “GivingTuesday is a global day of giving, fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.”

Joining the movement this year is the Surry County Schools Educational Foundation, which is accepting pledges and donations to increase enhanced learning opportunities for students and teachers in Surry County Schools.

The foundation joins two local nonprofit groups in joining the movement: the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History and the Greater Mount Airy Area Habitat for Humanity.

Visitors to the GivingTuesday website can view many charitable activities that are planned across the country. Groups that join the movement can list their names, websites and any activity that may be planned. Those who would like to help can put in their address under a heading “Happening near me.” That will direct visitors to a list of groups in the area, such as the foundation and museum here.

For groups that may need guidance in setting up a charitable event, GivingTuesday has tools such as sample outreach emails, tips for creating press releases and frequently asked questions.

With the Foundation just joining the movement, no event has been planned for Tuesday this year. However, the foundation notes that it could use donations to assist it in activities and programs it already sponsors.

According to Sonia Dickerson, county schools director of communications, the foundation joined GivingTuesday to increase awareness and funding of these programs including:

• Enhanced Learning Mini-Grants: Gives teachers the opportunity for creative and innovative learning projects with a focus on the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education or reading level achievement outside of the normal classroom funding.

• Professional Development Opportunities: Provides professional learning opportunities for teachers throughout the entire year.

• STEAMmersion Externship Program: Provides teachers the opportunity to spend time in local businesses learning how science, technology, engineering, arts and math are applied in authentic situations.

• Transportation Allotment: Allows students to participate in field trips to the Andy Griffith Playhouse, the Earle Theater, and the Outdoor Science Institute at Meadowview Magnet Middle School at no cost.

• School Allotments: Help schools offset the costs of many projects including field trips, art/music supplies, choral and band competitions, conference registration fees and more.

“I am most impressed with the programs the Foundation is sponsoring because they enrich the lives of our students,” said Dr. Travis L. Reeves, SCS superintendent. “These programs provide leadership opportunities, extracurricular activities, and arts experiences that enhance the curriculum and promote the whole child.”

The movement began in 2012 behind the driving force of a cultural center in New York City called 92Y. The center, since 1874, has been bringing people together around its core values of community service and giving back. 92Y conceptualized GivingTuesday as a new way of linking individuals and causes to strengthen communities and encourage giving.

Last year, organizers said GivingTuesday brought together more than 45,000 partners in 71 countries and helped raise nearly $117 million online in the U.S. alone.

“We have been incredibly inspired by the generosity in time, efforts and ideas that have brought our concept for a worldwide movement into reality,” said Henry Timms, founder of GivingTuesday and executive director of 92Y. “As we embark on our fifth year of GivingTuesday, we are encouraged by the early response from partners eager to continue making an impact in this global conversation.”

Those who are interested in joining the Educational Foundation’s GivingTuesday initiative can visit the Foundation website (, Facebook page (, follow @SCSEdFoundation on Twitter, or follow the Foundation Instagram.

Donors will receive a SCS Educational Foundation window cling, note pad and pen. A yard sign with the name of the donor will be posted on the front lawn of the Educational Foundation office in Dobson, and then posted on social media. All donors will be entered to win a one-night stay at the Hampton Inn & Suites at Shelton Vineyards and a gift card for two for wine tours and tastings.

By Jeff Linville