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IP Foundation Awards Education, Public Safety Grants in Alabama

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According to a report this past week by the Selma Times-Journal, Selma, Ala., USA, the International Paper (Memphis, Tenn.) Foundation awarded grants this past Friday totaling upwards of $60,000 to Selma and Dallas County area schools and nonprofit organizations in the state of Alabama. International Paper Foundation (IP) and Riverdale Mill held a luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Friday in the Community Room at the YMCA of Selma-Dallas County for grant recipients.

"Of course with Riverdale being part of the Selma and Dallas County community, we are very pleased to be able to have a part in that and helping fund these programs today," said Arthur McLean, communications manager for Riverdale Mill of International Paper.

IP has awarded more than $10 million in grants to fund schools and nonprofit organizations since 1952.

Twenty-eight grants and two supplemental grants were awarded to local schools and organizations including School of Discovery, Dallas County High School, Selma High School, Valley Grande Elementary, McRae-Gaines Learning Center, Brantley Elementary, Blackbelt Benefit Group, and more.

"They usually focus on the area of environment, reading or technology," said Erika Crum, principal for Valley Grande Elementary. "They have blessed our school each year we have been awarded with a grant."

Karen Grimes of Salem Elementary School compares receiving grants to receiving CPR. "Honestly, sometimes we just feel like children, they’re reading and then they kind of just straight line," Grimes said. "And then IP comes by with this grant and, boy, it’s just like CPR going and that heart rate is going and children are reading."

The majority of the grants were awarded to Selma City and Dallas County Schools to be used toward purchasing new books and supplementing literacy programs. Other grants awarded to schools will be used toward general school operations and purchasing supplies. Selma City Schools and Dallas County Schools were each awarded with a $2,500 grant to aide general school operations.
Photo: William Powell of Keith High School accepts a grant from International Paper Foundation on January 8 during a luncheon at the YMCA of Selma -Dallas County. 

The Blackbelt Benefit Group and Lawley Volunteer Fire Department were also awarded employee involvement sponsorship grants. The employee involvement sponsorship grants require a Riverdale employee to volunteer with the agency for a minimum of six months for the agency to become eligible for the grant.

The Blackbelt Benefit Group was awarded $2,500 to be used toward the Grow Selma project in developing two permanent gardens that will be used as outdoor classrooms for local schools. In addition, Lawley Volunteer Fire Department was awarded a $1,850 grant to refurbish and purchase critical equipment the department needs.

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