Students (l to r) Kimberly Heard and KeAundra Jackson in Diana Kennen’s class receive assistance with their science project from Acuity Lighting executives Jeff Quinlan and Linda Owen, who’s also a Rockdale County Public Schools Foundation board member. Acuity donated $2,000 to the Foundation to support teacher grants. (photo by Kysa Daniels)

Students (l to r) Kimberly Heard and KeAundra Jackson in Diana Kennen’s class receive assistance with their science project from Acuity Lighting executives Jeff Quinlan and Linda Owen, who’s also a Rockdale County Public Schools Foundation board member. Acuity donated $2,000 to the Foundation to support teacher grants. (photo by Kysa Daniels)

Students and teachers in Rockdale County Public Schools (RCPS) are benefiting from the generosity of locally operated Acuity Brands Lighting.

The company donated $2,000 to the RCPS Foundation to support the nonprofit’s Educator Grants Program, which this spring awarded 16 grants totaling nearly $14,000. The commitment from Acuity provided enough funding for three grants targeting teachers providing innovative instruction related to the environment and technology.

Diana Kennen, a Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology teacher received funding for two of her classes.

“More than 100 of my students are getting the chance to engage in more meaningful class projects, thanks to the Foundation grants,” Kennen said.

The third Acuity grant went to Tameka Osabutey at Memorial Middle School, where she’s using the funding to delve deeper into a STEM project with more than 200 of her students.

In addition to the Acuity grants, this year the Foundation also received support from the Rockdale County Clerk of Courts Charitable Gifts program. A $5,000 award from the Clerk of Courts enabled the Foundation to offer almost 40 percent more in financial support to teachers than from the previous year.

“This type of giving and support means the Foundation can impact a greater number of students who benefit from a variety of creative, extended learning activities that aren’t covered by the standard school system budget,” said Rose Collins, the Foundation’s annual fund chair.

The RCPS Foundation also provides money to support the annual Superintendent’s College Scholarship and recognizes outstanding Rockdale educators.

Since 1988, the RCPS Foundation has provided more than $460,000 in funding for education grants, as well as student and teacher achievement initiatives. A tax-exempt, nonprofit, the Foundation works in close partnership with the school system and is governed by an independent Board of Trustees. To view a list of all the grants awarded this year and make a donation, visit RCPSFoundation.com.