Valley Ridge Academy receives Lowe’s Toolbox for Education grant


Special to the Recorder

Valley Ridge Academy recently received the Lowe’s Toolbox for Education grant to help further develop its outdoor space.

The grant was made possible by the work of grant-writing volunteers Amy Zobel and Kim Piety, who spent the past two years working closely with the school’s administration to produce a winning proposal to Lowe’s Toolbox for Education. Upon receiving the funds, the writers, alongside the administration and parent volunteer Hector Rodriguez of the Florida Home Remodeling Group, LLC, designed and planned each item for the project and organized a volunteer weekend.

The proposal was to use materials from Lowe’s to build large-scale musical instruments and the S.S. Hawk, a boat for imaginative play. The school also proposed creating a citrus learning garden to teach students the process of fruiting, pollination and harvesting.

With the help of the grant, parent volunteers were able to construct five imaginative play items and a citrus learning center in one weekend. Several parents volunteered to build the items and plant the trees for the learning garden and the PTO provided food and drinks. Lowe’s employee Andy Macy helped the team plan, order and deliver the materials in addition to volunteering more than 12 hours at Valley Ridge Academy, working alongside parents and providing expert guidance.