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Golf4Grants awards grant to Middlesboro teacher Gilley

Middlesboro High School teacher, Luke Gilley, will be receiving a grant from Golf4Grants for “Drones in the Classroom” to continue the innovative work he is doing in his Aerospace and Engineering classes at Middlesboro High School.

Golf4Grants is directed by Scott Ballard and is put on by Middlesboro Alumni and Friends. Ballard has been organizing the annual tournament as well as helping develop and maintain the event for almost five years. All proceeds raised by Golf4Grants goes back into schools in the region.

“I’m blessed to be able to be a part of this,” said Ballard. “Bob Bennett was named the principal at Middlesboro High School a few years back, and he was adamant about bringing tradition back to Middlesboro. We wanted to be able to do everything we could to help him do that.

“We have one annual tournament every year on the second Friday in June at Wasioto Winds in Pineville. We have already seen some incredible things as a result of Golf4Grants.”

“Kristy Lewis’s grant for the addition of graphic novels impacts 80+ students a year. Readership has skyrocketed with six times more readers than the previous year. Matt Lewis added LEGOs to teach 3rd grade math, and it was an instant hands-on learning hit. The kids even created LEGO ornaments for a LEGO Christmas tree they entered in the ‘Fantasy of Trees,’ representing Middlesboro Elementary. Around 100 second-graders of all reading levels now have access to National Geographic Science and Social Studies readers thanks to Ashley Phipps. It’s amazing to see the change being made so quickly,” said Ballard.

“We have a ton of people that sponsor us, and community support is through the roof. Without the interest, support and sponsorship, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do. Participation is always great. We typically have anywhere between 88 to 96 participants playing in the annual scramble.”

“We just want to make a positive impact on the youth in the region. We want to get this money to these schools as fast as we can when we get it also, so that they can get a jump start on the innovative and creative ideas that they have come up with to help their students,” said Ballard.

“We want to leave a legacy of positive influence and tradition in the area,” said Ballard. “We may do a lot in terms of helping as much as we can, but Golf4Grants is a passion project, it brings me home. Even though I try, I cannot out give what I receive in being a part of it, it means the world to me.”