‘We are so grateful’: Ken Garff St. George Ford awards $5K in principal grants to local schools

ST. GEORGE — Ken Garff St. George Ford has partnered with the Washington County School District Foundation to give back to local leaders in education. 

Principal Bob Sonju accepts a $1,000 grant for Washington Fields Intermediate School, St. George, Utah, Feb. 11, 2021 | Photo courtesy of Ken Garff St. George Ford, St. George News

The dealership sponsored five area schools with $1,000 each worth of items that principals requested to help fulfill student needs.

“As a Ken Garff leadership group in St. George, we chose out of all the requests five schools that fit our criteria of service,” brand and marketing manager Austin Szatlocky said. “We are blessed to be a part of our wonderful community and grateful to be able to give back in times of need.”  

The Washington County School District Foundation awards classroom grants, supported by state and local businesses, to teachers in the community every year. In 2020, principals were able to apply for funding as well. 

“It was just a great opportunity to bring together a need at a school and a business in our community looking to help,” said Steven Dunham, communications director for the Washington County School District.  

Rather than writing $1,000 checks, Ken Garff St. George Ford purchased all of the products that principals asked for. On Thursday, Dunham accompanied representatives from the dealership to deliver the requested items directly to the five chosen schools. 

Washington Fields Intermediate School received Lego robotics to enhance their STEM curriculum. Principal Bob Sonju told St. George News that interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics is growing exponentially at the school, adding that these programs help students learn to collaborate and solve complex problems.

Principal Anthony Horrocks accepts a $1,000 grant for Coral Canyon Elementary School, St. George, Utah, Feb. 11, 2021 | Photo courtesy of Ken Garff St. George Ford, St. George News

“With education changing almost daily, innovation and creativity are so important in our schools because these are the skills that kids are going to need as they move through school and into life,” he said. “We are so grateful, sincerely grateful for donors like Ken Garff who help out in the schools, because there’s no way we could do it without their kind donations.”  

Ken Garff St. George Ford provided Coral Canyon Elementary School with new traffic signs to increase visibility for safer drop-off and pick-up of students. Pine View Middle School received additional Chromebooks to assist students with organization and productivity.  

For the first time since 1987, Bloomington Elementary School received new furniture to create comfortable reading nooks for students. Santa Clara Elementary School received software from Generation Genius, a K-8 teaching resource that brings school science standards to life through engaging educational videos and materials. 

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic nearly a year ago, Dunham said he feared the worst for the Washington County School District Foundation. But the community answered the call to support public education, and 2020 actually ended up being their best year yet. 

“We have had local businesses come out of the woodwork to help support us, to sponsor our teachers,” he said. “We’ve given away more money in principal and teacher grants than we gave away in our first seven years doing this combined. It has been so rewarding to see the smiles that have taken place this year.”  

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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