Community Foundation awards grants for Education

Theresa Winstead, Principal Brittany Anderson and Melinda Russell accept the Mary B. Nickell Grant for Alderson Elementary School
Theresa Winstead, Principal Brittany Anderson and Melinda Russell accept the Mary B. Nickell Grant for Alderson Elementary School

The Greenbrier Valley Community Foundation (GVCF) has awarded 12 grants for enrichment activities in area public schools through its Community Fund Mini-Grant program and the Mary B. Nickell Fund for Arts Education. The grants will be used to purchase supplies and pay honoraria to bring talented community members into the classrooms.

The Community Fund Mini-Grant was established in 2013 by the board of directors of the Greenbrier Valley Community Foundation. This year the grant will help provide funding for several exciting programs at Greenbrier West High School sponsored by Angela Leef and Juanita Spinks including: a community service project, the construction of a miniature golf course at GWHS that is designed by math students and built by shop students, a field trip to the site of the Buffalo Creek Disaster, and a performance of the Thornton Wilder play Our Town. In addition, grants have been awarded to Kelli Martin to teach YogaMotion at White Sulphur Springs Elementary School and Ross Weiseger to teach folk dancing with Beth White to physical education students at Greenbrier East High School.

The Mary B. Nickell Fund for Arts Education began making awards in 2011 and has disbursed over $21,000 for art programs in the Greenbrier County Public Schools. The fund was endowed by the late Mary Nickell who was a painter and a member of the Greenbrier Artists.

This year’s recipients of the grant are Carli Mareneck to work with 4th grade classrooms at Ronceverte Elementary School to create collages and block prints that will enhance their interest in the study of West Virginia; the Monroe Arts Alliance to maintain its Youth Art Show throughout the Monroe County Public Schools, and a group of Alderson artists who will be working with students at Alderson Elementary School to create banners that celebrate the Alderson Lion. Once completed, the flags made by the students will be displayed on the Alderson Memorial Bridge and other prominent locations in town. Students will be instructed in the painting of large images. They will also learn the story of “French,” the circus lion cub adopted by an Alderson family that roamed the streets of Alderson back in the 1800s until a law was passed requiring him to be on a leash.

Both grants are awarded bi-annually. Applications for the March 2016 grants are due Dec. 7. Visit the “Grants” page at for more information and to download an application.

The Greenbrier Valley Community Foundation is a collection of over 100 funds, each with its own charitable purpose. These funds are established to make annual distributions to the community in perpetuity. For more information about GVCF or how to establish a perpetual fund to support a charity that you are passionate about, contact Courtney Smith, executive director, at 304-645-5620 or



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