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IP Foundation awards nearly $90K to area schools, nonprofit agencies

The International Paper (IP) Foundation recently announced nearly $90,000 in grant awards handed out to 23 area schools and nonprofit organizations as part of its annual giving effort.

An awards ceremony and luncheon has accompanied the announcement in previous years, but the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to this year’s ceremony – still, IP Riverdale Mill Manager Jim Bruce said the company is glad to see the funds being distributed to the community.

“We’re proud to be able to continue our support of the schools and organizations in the Selma area,” Bruce said in a press release. “These grants will help address community needs in our focus areas of education, health and health and wellness. We’re confident these organizations and schools will use the funds to impact our community in a positive way.”

According to the release, many of the organizations to receive awards noted the participation of Riverdale Mill employees who regularly volunteer with the agencies.

The following schools and organizations received support from the IP Foundation grants:

• Bruce. K. Craig Elementary received $4,000 to purchase books;

• The Dallas County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) received $5,000 to provide emergency kits to senior citizens;

• Dallas County High School received $2,500 to purchase books for its library;

• Edgewood Elementary received $500 to purchase Lego STEAM kits and $3,500 to purchase books and collaborative dry erase tables;

• The Edmundite Missions received $8,115 to support its Weekend Breakfast Bag program;

• Keith Middle-High received $5,000 to purchase e-books for remote learning;

• Knox Elementary received $5,000 to purchase books and book bags;

• The McRae-Gaines Learning Center received $5,000 to purchase books, teaching tools, tables and chairs for its library;

• Meadowview Elementary received $3,000 to purchase reading materials for third grade students;

• Payne Elementary received $5,000 to purchase books for its library;

• R.B. Hudson STEAM Academy received $4,059 to purchase tower garden units, $1,908 to purchase supplies for an outdoor learning center and $3,000 to purchase books for its library;

• The Selma Area Food Bank (SAFB) received $2,500 to support its backpack program;

Additionally, $5,000 was awarded to Selma City Schools for its literary festival and more than $8,000 was given to Selma High School for the library’s healthy snacks program; Sophia P. Kingston Elementary received $3,000 for library books and just over $4,800 for books for students between kindergarten and fifth grade; Southside High School received $3,500 for library reading materials and $2,500 for fitness equipment; and Martin Middle received just over $4,940 for math teaching systems.

“We’re proud of the positive impact we can have in our community through the International Paper Foundation grants and volunteer efforts of our employees,” said IP Riverdale Mill Communications Manager Arthur McLean in the release. “I would like to thank all f the teachers, administrators and agency representatives for the work they do as well as thank our employee volunteers and the mill’s grant review committee for their efforts.”

The IP Foundation, founded in 1952, is the philanthropic arm of the company and has awarded millions in grant funding to nonprofits since its inception.

Since 2017, most of the foundation’s funding has supported its “signature causes,” which include children’s education, hunger and health and wellness, as well as disaster relief.