Christmas officially came early for White Elementary School, Cass High School, and the Bartow County School System! School and district leaders were presented with a $100,000 check this week from Mr. Harry E. Kitchen, Jr., Mrs. Charlotte S. Kitchen, and The Foxfield Company.
“What a tremendous gift from our partners in education!,” said Bartow County School System Superintendent Dr. Phillip Page. “We are incredibly thankful! The money will be used to advance Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math initiatives at WES and strengthen the football, athletics, and band programs at CHS. Additionally, a portion of the money will be allocated for professional development. The key to improved learning for students is on-going, job-embedded learning for the adults who serve those students.”
Bartow County Commissioner Steve Taylor helped facilitate Mr. Harry Kitchen’s vision to donate to schools around his development.
“Harry mentioned to me quite a while back that he wanted to make a donation to the schools that are in the community around his development,” added Commissioner Taylor. “It’s not often that a developer gives back to the community in such a big way. His investment in the schools is a great example of successful business people giving back. His investment in Bartow has been a great addition to the tax digest and added many jobs.”
The Foxfield Company, based in Hilton Head, South Carolina, is a family owned commercial real estate company. Their scope of work covers commercial land development, brokerage services, and general construction. Nearly four years ago, The Foxfield Company purchased 724 acres from Anheuser Busch in Bartow County and received the green light to build five million square feet of industrial buildings. Some of those facilities are in close proximity to WES and CHS.
“When we decide to invest our capital and time in a community, we look for opportunities to make an impact, outside of our real estate project,” added Foxfield Company President Harry Kitchen. “Quality education is vital to the development of our children and their future. The Foxfield Company is very pleased to make a $100,000 donation to the Bartow County School System. Our wish is that the money will benefit as many students as possible and that it will make a lasting impact on their lives.”
“I’m grateful for such a generous gift and excited for the lasting impact this will have on our students and staff,” said CHS Principal Steve Revard. “It will help our students and teachers that make contributions within the classroom and beyond. This will also support our student athletes and fine arts program as we continue to raise the bar.”
WES Principal Amanda Elrod calls this large donation an unexpected surprise, as their school is in need of class Sphero and Ozobot sets, a covered outdoor classroom with seating for students to observe and explore the school garden, and a new weather station.
“This money will go a long way towards supplying our students with new opportunities,” added Elrod. “The purchasing of STEM supplies at this point in the school year would not have been possible without this financial support. We are so thankful for this support as we continue to build a STEM culture and work towards state STEM certification. We are excited about this new community partnership for our school and any future opportunities it may bring.”