Schools, nonprofits receive $65,000 boost

VERONA – Students at Tupelo Middle School are going to see more practical applications of math this fall thanks to the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation.
On Thursday, the foundation awarded seven grants worth $65,675 to schools and organizations.
Tupelo Middle School was one of the recipients, getting $11,000. Connie Gusmus, a seventh- and eighth-grade math teacher at TMS, said she will use part of the money to buy equipment that will allow her students to collect data and “apply math to real-world situations.”
“We couldn’t have afforded it without them,” Gusmus said. “I’d like to thank the E.R. Carpenter Foundation for their support. Without them, it wouldn’t be possible. Especially in these economic times, they’re still supporting education.”
The other grant recipients expressed similar gratitude to the foundation, which provides grants to nonprofit agencies in communities where E. Rhodes Carpenter built plants. The Verona plant has been open since 1974.
The other recipients were the Tupelo Ballet, New Beginnings of Tupelo, Carver Elementary School, Milam Elementary School, Mooreville High School and Junior Achievement.
With Thursday’s awards, the Carpenter Foundation has given about $5.5 million to Northeast Mississippi nonprofit groups in the past 10 years, according to George Null, human resource manager for the Carpenter plant in Verona.
Even during a recession, Carpenter division manager Al Servati said, the foundation sees the need to invest in students because the schools help attract business and develop students to transition successfully into the business world.
Yet the recession has taken a toll. Null said the grant amounts are down from what they normally are.
“But we were still able to give away seven grants,” Null said.

Contact Carlie Kollath at (662) 678-1598 or carlie.kollath@djournal.com.

Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal