International Paper awards $65k in grants

Published 9:01 pm Thursday, January 26, 2017

Teachers and educators from all over Selma and Dallas County made their way to the Carl C. Morgan Convention Center Thursday for an award ceremony in their honor.

The International Paper Foundation and Riverdale Mill awarded nearly $65,000 in grants to local nonprofit agencies and schools during the luncheon.

Out of 73 applications, there were just 24 that were selected to receive a grant, along with three supplemental donations to Selma City Schools, Dallas County Schools and the YMCA of Selma and Dallas County.

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“We are pleased to award these grant funds today to our local schools and nonprofit groups, and we know these organizations and schools will use the funds to impact our community in a positive way,” said Jim Bruce, Riverdale Mill manager.

Many of the grants also recognized the involvement of Riverdale employees who volunteer their time and efforts to assist the organizations.

“The money provided by the International Paper Foundation helps local schools and agencies, but the volunteer efforts of Riverdale employees can often make an even bigger impact,” said Arthur McLean, communications manager.

“It’s extremely gratifying [to help the children]. It’s part of the philosophy of International Paper to support the community where our employees live and work and so this is a very tangible side of that.”

Grants were awarded to various classrooms and libraries at Sophia P. Kingston, Tipton Durant Middle School, Dallas County High School, Concordia College Alabama, Valley Grande Elementary, J.E. Terry Elementary, Meadowview Elementary, Payne Elementary, Cedar Park Elementary, Southside High School, Salem Elementary, School of Discovery, Bruce K. Craig Elementary, Selma High School, Clark Elementary, Keith Middle-High School, Brantley Elementary and William R. Martin Middle School.

The Dallas County Board of Education and the Fourth Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office also received grants.

“It’s not about me, it’s about the kids and this is just something that I wanted to do for my classroom,” said Rainean Terry, third-grade teacher at Sophia P. Kingston Elementary School.

“I’m going to buy a lot of different varieties of text for them to read, especially non-fiction to expose them to that.”

Terry said she is happy that her classroom was chosen to receive one of the grants.

“It’s motivation to the teachers. It’s exciting because we’re trying to motivate our kids, so I think this is very exciting for the community,” Terry said.

“This is my first time ever applying for the IP grant, so I’m extremely excited that I was awarded it.”

Simce 1952, the International Paper Company Foundation has been providing funding to schools and nonprofit organizations and to date has awarded more than $10 million.

To learn more about applying for an IPF grant, visit