Stemley Road Elementary School

May 19, 2023 by Anita Reid

School of Distinction Award

Dollar for Scholars

Talladega County Schools

Principal, Dr. Audrey Chatman

Superintendent, Dr. Suzanne Lacey

Stemley Road Elementary’s Dollar for Scholars program provided high school seniors with scholarship monies for college expenses. The program emerged from a challenge for grade levels to become more involved in their community. Students and teachers identified the need for instilling the importance of a college education as essential to community growth. What started as a sixth-grade vision soon evolved into a schoolwide mission. Funding was vital for the program’s success. Students had a voice and choice in ways to secure monies for scholarships. Students created various fundraising opportunities through collaboration and communication with community partners and stakeholders. Fifth and sixth-grade students organized, advertised, budgeted funds, and counted monies. The application process for high school seniors to apply for the scholarship was simple, fair, and scored using a rubric. Requirements included recommendation letters from teachers, an essay, and recipients of the scholarship must have attended Stemley Road Elementary. The program incorporated a pay-it-forward mentality by requiring recipients to pour back into the community through community service hours. More than 15 scholarships ranging from $300-$1,000 per recipient were awarded to seniors at Talladega County Central High School. The effectiveness of this program was measured by its creation of a collaborative partnership between the elementary and high schools, its impact on school culture, and student attitudes about college and helping others.