The late Telegraph publisher and philanthropist Peyton Tooke Anderson Jr., who would have turned 110 years old on Sunday, wanted to reward the good doers, not the do-gooders, using a bulk of the multimillion dollar estate he bequeathed in 1988 to better Macon.
One of his greatest passions was education.
At a birthday celebration Tuesday, the Peyton Anderson Foundation announced it will spend up to a half million dollars to fund the best ideas Bibb County teachers can come up with to inspire students.
The Teach to Inspire project invites public school teachers to “go beyond and to take the education in their classrooms to a different level,” foundation President Karen Lambert said. “We’re really excited to see what sort of ideas they’re going to bring forward.”
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Grants will range from $250 to $10,000 for ideas to be implemented during the 2017-18 school year. Only full-time teachers at Bibb County public or charter schools may apply. Principals, administrators, substitutes, student teachers and other staff are not eligible.
The deadline to apply is June 11 and winners are expected to be announced July 26, according to a news release from the foundation.
“It could be things as simple as wobble chairs, which are chairs with wheels on them that are very, very helpful for children with learning disabilities,” Lambert said, adding that GoPro cameras and audio recording equipment are also possibilities.
Bibb County Superintendent Curtis Jones said the grant money is the largest sum a foundation has ever given the school system.
“When you think about the idea that a teacher can get a grant from $250 to $10,000, and put that in combination with the strategic waivers we have in our schools, it becomes awesome,” Jones said. “It’s an opportunity to change the way we educate our students ... It’s up to us to make it work.”
After the announcement, about 300 people celebrated Anderson’s legacy under the grand rotunda of the Tubman Museum, which was built recently using a few million in donations from the foundation.
As a teenager, Anderson worked at his family’s newspaper, The Telegraph, when it was The Macon Telegraph and The Macon News. After the newspaper was sold in the late 1940s, Anderson later bought it back. He also attended the U.S. Naval Academy and served in the Navy as a commander during World War II.
NewTown Macon, the Central Georgia Community Foundation, the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail and buildings at the Medical Center, Navicent Health, are just a few of the places and entities in existence thanks to Anderson.
Since the foundation was created in 1988 after Anderson’s death, it has given more than $94 million in charitable funds to better the city.
Fore more information about the Teach to Inspire program, including a full list of rules, please visit www.peytonanderson.org/Teach/.