Cherokee County Educational Foundation     

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2021 At Home with CCEF Contest Winners Announced

CCEF strives to create inclusive and exciting opportunities for supporters of CCSD educators and students to get involved. We run several programs throughout the year to supply funds to the faculty and schools for impactful educational projects, big and small. From Impact Grants, Rapid Grants, sporting events, and more, CCEF wants to provide opportunities to those who otherwise may not have the funds to make their ideas come to life. CCEF consistently seeks to support innovative and impactful education programs in the district through fundraisers, grants, and campaigns.

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Engagement Strategies in the Classroom

Teacher and student

When you have a classroom full of students with different interests, abilities, and learning styles, it can be difficult to keep them all engaged when going through your lesson plans. Ultimately, it's nearly impossible to keep every student 100% engaged for the entirety of every class. Why? Because they're different humans with different interests and different struggles. In the words of Albert Einstein, "It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge." So, as you work through the second month of school, we hope these are some ideas that will help you "awaken joy" in your students. 

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Fun Fall Break Activities for the Whole Family

Fall fun

We're sure you already know, but in case you don't – classes will not be held September 20th-24th for fall break! If you weren't already excited, we hope you are now! Whether you're a CCSD teacher or a CCSD parent, you may need some ideas for fun activities during this break. This is your chance to get into the fall spirit, so here are some ideas for things to do with your family during the break. 

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How to Promote Friendships in the Classroom

Students in classroom

Put yourself in the shoes of your students. Do you remember what it felt like to walk into a new classroom with a new teacher and new classmates? It's scary for some, exciting for others, but inevitable for every student as they seek to find their place in this little world of theirs. Many of us can think of at least one friend from school that has lasted the test of time and now these students just recently walked into a classroom with the potential to meet their best friend. As a teacher, you have the opportunity to help forge these relationships, and here are some ways to do just that. 

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Introducing New and Returning CCEF Board Members

2021 Board Members

Not only have we started a new school year, but we also have some new Cherokee County Educational Foundation board members and even one returning board member! We couldn't do what we do without our awesome team, and we couldn't be more excited for all of the ways that these outstanding individuals will benefit the Foundation. 

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2020-2021 Year in Review

Year in Review

Happy July! The school year ended, graduation commenced, and now everyone is nearing the end of summer break. As we look back on the 2020-2021 school year, we see many challenges, yet many triumphs as well. Throughout the year, our team adapted as we had to modify how we ran our usual fundraisers. Nonetheless, we were proud to see it come together for the good of the Cherokee County School District. Let's take a look at the list of 2020-2021 events that continue to make our mission possible.

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Get Ready to Moo’ve!

CFA Moo've It 5K

We're thrilled that the 8th annual Chick-fil-A Moo've It 5K will be held in person this year! Over the years, this race has donated over $200,000 to both CCEF and the Cherokee County Special Olympics. This event is so much fun and we can't wait to see many of our friends and supporters on August 14th at Etowah River Park!

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A Letter to CCSD’s Class of 2021

Graduation Day

To the class of 2021, 

It may seem cliché, but it's true: You did it! The buzz of excitement will soon be settling, and you will be fully immersed in summer. Some are anxiously waiting to move into their college dorms, and others are preparing for their careers. Either way, you have completed quite the race. As you enter into this in-between time before you continue on your path, there are some things we would like to remind you... 

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How Nature-Deficit Disorder Is Affecting Our Kids (and What We Can Do About It)

by Jenny Miller 

While it's not a formal medical diagnosis, nature-deficit disorder is no less alarming. The term was coined by author Richard Louv in his book, Last Child in the Woods, to describe the physical and psychological costs of the disconnect between humans and nature. This is concerning kids today who are spending less time in nature and more time indoors with their noses in electronic gadgets. This is not only depriving them of nature's innate benefits, but also giving rise to various learning, developmental, and health problems. Needless to say, understanding the disorder is as important as mitigating it. Here's what you need to know. 

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The Teacher’s Survival Guide for Finishing the School Year

Teacher's Survival Guide

No matter where you find yourself, you probably know that completing a race is hard. It takes preparation, perseverance, and the willingness to press forward even when you feel like you can't anymore. For all the teachers out there, you likely feel this before every fall, spring, and winter break…but more than ever right before the summer break. And perhaps even more so this year, as you have continued to navigate the challenges that COVID-19 has brought with it. However, as you get closer and closer to the end, remember this: Finish well. Here's how to do just that.

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Judge Jackson Harris: Making Cherokee County Proud

Jackson Harris

We recently released an article outlining how Alumni of the Year winner, Ms. Carolyn, Turner has been a light to our community. Now, we would like to highlight our other Alumni of the Year winner, the Honorable Judge Jackson Harris. Judge Harris grew up in Ball Ground Georgia, attended Ball Ground Elementary School, and graduated from Cherokee High School in 1972. Harris gained his B.A. at Emory University and his law degree from Mercer University. After many years of education and dedication, he began his career in law! 

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Alumni of the Year Winner, Carolyn Turner, Touching Lives

Carolyn Turner

If you've been in Cherokee County for any length of time, you've probably heard of Cherokee High School which sits on Marietta Highway. However, Cherokee High School hasn't always been here. In fact, it didn't become Cherokee High School until 1956. It was previously known as Canton High School – which is where Ms. Carolyn Turner graduated from in 1948. As you will see, Ms. Turner has been a light to the community and is truly a deserving recipient of the 2021 Alumni of the Year Award. 

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“Spring” into Action: Fun Outdoor Activities for Kids

It's FINALLY spring! It's been a cold, rainy winter and if you're like us, you're ready for it to warm up! Both you and your children have probably been itching to get outside because no one likes being stuck inside all of the time! As spring peeks out, we find that we often "freeze" up and don't know what to do outside. To help you get a spark of motivation, we've compiled 8 ideas for outdoor activities!

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Rapid Grant Recipients: Math in Practice and Classroom Robotics

Child pointing at small robot on a table

Over the last several months, we've been featuring many of our Impact Grant winners. However, we also offer rapid grants. These grants allow us to meet the more immediate classroom needs of our Cherokee County School District teachers, offering up to $500. We've recently been able to support Boston Elementary School and Free Home Elementary by providing materials needed for math improvement and to spark interest in STEM through robotics. 

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Impact Grant Spotlight: Beyond the Textbook

Art by

Math, English, history…these are all subjects that are vital to the educational experience. However, other subjects can prove to be just as important as they inspire students to get in touch with their creative side or turn their eyes to the sky to observe all the vastness and beauty it has to offer. Ms. Panik of Creekview High School and Mr. Akins of River Ridge High School recognize the importance of these opportunities and have created space for students to put down the textbooks and apply what they've learned in class. 

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How to Help Your Student Develop Social Emotional Skills at Home

Social emotional learning at home

In the Spring of 2019, the Cherokee County School District released a committee report focused on Social Emotional Learning within our school district. The primary objective is to not only prepare students for their future academically, but also to teach them how to foster meaningful relationships, make good decisions, and overall impact "not just the minds of Cherokee students, but also their hearts." However, this can't be accomplished single-handedly as it must be encouraged both in the classroom and in the home. 

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Made in Cherokee County: 2020 Alumni of the Year Reflections


As we look forward to the 2021 Gala, we wanted to take a peek at what school looked like in our county leading up to 1970, the year that both of our 2020 Alumni of the Year award winners graduated from Cherokee High School. Ms. Rebecca Johnston and Mr. Steve Stancil were chosen as the winners of this award for their outstanding contributions to the community. Both of our winners have had great success in their careers, and the cool thing is…it all started in a Cherokee County school. Ms. Johnston stated, "I appreciate that my education at CHS helped me to be able to achieve what I have in life. I have been able to do what I love most, which is to have a career as a writer and editor and have the opportunity to record our Cherokee County history through my writings. This award is a pinnacle of my life." 

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Impact Grant Winners: Time to Thrive


Thrive. This word manifests itself in a lot of different ways in a lot of different people. For some, it may be a series of small successes, while for others it's the "ah-ha" moment that makes it all worth it. Either way, this is our goal for all students – to give each child the opportunity to thrive in their own way. These Cherokee County Educational Foundation Impact Grant winners submitted proposals with ideas that have and will continue to make an impact on students of all ages and abilities. 

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Teacher Self-Care Tips Based on Personality Type


If you're a teacher, you take care of your students for a living. Being a teacher comes with a lot of worries and concerns, and sometimes it's hard to disconnect from that and reset. After a school year that has been unlike any other, you may be feeling especially burned out, but with winter break right around the corner, it's important to go ahead and start planning how you can take care of yourself over the break. Depending on your personality, your version of self-care may look different than others. We have compiled a few different ways to take care of yourself depending on your personality type. Determine which type you identify most with and plan out time to do the associated self-care tip. 

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8 Teacher Appreciation Ideas

Teachers were superheroes long before COVID-19. They spent years in school preparing to be teachers. They love their students and spend time fretting over if they have food when they get home, whether they understand the material, and if they're going to do well on their tests. However, teachers who had been in the classroom for decades were suddenly forced to relearn how to teach. New teachers spent years learning how to manage a classroom but are now having to manage a Zoom call instead. It's safe to say that teachers are exhausted even as many have returned to in-person learning. Thanksgiving is next week and in the spirit of giving thanks, we wanted to share some unique ways to make your child's teachers feel appreciated in the midst of tough times.

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