Donor-Sponsored Grant Programs

Duke Energy Grant

DUKE Energy awarded $57,250 to 19 recipients! Since 2006, DUKE Energy has invested over $495,000 in Polks teachers and students.

DUKE grant reception

(2017 DUKE Grant Recipients)


Polk Education Foundation (PEF) received $50,000 in funding from Duke Energy for school grants to enhance STEM initiatives for the 2017-2018 school year. In 2016-2017 a total of $59,600 in grants were awarded to 18 public and charter schools in the DUKE Energy Service area. Each school awarded received funding up to $3,500. Thank you Jerry Miller and DUKE Energy!

2017 Press Release - DUKE Energy

2017 Recipient Press Release - DUKE Energy

Schools in DUKE Service Area

Duke Energy Logo


School Matching Funds Grant:

2017-2018 School Matching Grant funding received through the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations as part of the School District Education Foundation Matching Grant Program, is open to all public and charter schools in Polk County and requires schools to solicit and acquire new funds from a private or community donor with the promise of a dollar for dollar match up to $3,000 per school. What a great way to connect and engage community members with local schools. We awarded $29,800 in grants to schools in 2017-2018.

Press Release


CFEF logo Matching Grant logo





STEAMing Up Polk Schools! Grant:

STEAMing up Polk Schools! STEAMing up Polk Schools!, funded through the Consortium of Florida Education Foundation, awarded almost $27,000 for STEaM education grants. Grant funds must be used to increase student achievement in STEaM content areas, improve/increase availability and inventory of resources to enhance instruction in STEaM education, and/or fund professional development in alignment with STEaM education initiatives.

List of Grant Recipients (17-18)

Press Release

grant Recipinets

(2017-2018 Grant Recipients)


PEF awarded 11 STEaMing Up Polk! grants for the 16-17 school year. Each school received up to $3,500 in grant funds.

2015 Press Release-STEAMing up Polk Schools

2016 Recipient list


CFEF logo


AT&T STEM at Work Grant:

2017-2018 AT&T STEM at Work Grant funded two $2,000 STEM (Science-Technology - Engineering- Math) grants through the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations (CFEF). The intention of AT&T is to provide students with opportunities to better understand an area of STEM through workplace-based experiences and to increase their awareness and interest in STEM careers.

ATT Chain of Lakes ATT Combee El

Chain of Lakes Elementary expanded their project "Amphibians, Reptiles and Birds, Oh My!". There goal was to transform 2nd grade students into wildlife biologists who marvel at the wonders of the natural world, look closely at the habitat around them and work to protect the natural environment. Great teachers know that it's not what you teach, it's how you teach it -- and so we used each topic as a springboard into developing higher-order thinking skills, challenging paradigms, and encouraging students to think outside the box. These experiences were completed under the leadership of our business partner Kleinfelder with the underlying purpose of identifying animal and plant species and learning what steps second graders can take to be positive agents of change for our environment both on school campus and in their communities. 

Combee Academy's grant provided students with a real world problem that would require them to think collaboratively, problem solve, apply STEM skills, and gain experience working with a business professional. Based on a study by a group of urban and landscape planners, it was noted that "most studies reveal that the distribution of greenspace often disproportionately benefits predominantly white and more affluent communities." Students researched parks and greenspaces located in the local community and then designed and built a greenspace on campus that is being utilized by our school and community. Students did an excellent job!  Although this was challenging for students, they persevered and were proud of their all they accomplished.  Both programs will run through the end of April 2018, thanks to the 2017-2018 AT&T STEM at Work grant.

2017-2018 ATT Press Release 

ATT logo


Motorola STEM Solutions Grant:

With STEM/STEAM (Science-Technology - Engineering- Arts - Math) as a current focus in education, Motorola Solutions Foundation through the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations (CFEF) funded $5000 for STEM focused business partnership in 2012-2013, 2013-2014, 2014-2015, and again in 2017-2018.


David Lockett at Bok Academy is the 2017-2018 grant recipient.

In​ ​a​ ​project-based​ ​learning​ ​environment​ ​”Powering​ ​the​ ​Future​ ​of STEM”​ ​students​ ​will​ ​take​ ​part​ ​in​ ​unique​ ​hands-on​ ​projects​ ​with community​ ​partner​ ​Duke​ ​Energy throughout this school year.​ ​Duke​ ​Energy will​ ​provide​ ​diverse​ ​guest​ ​speakers,​ ​engineers,​ ​operators,​ ​technicians,and​ ​more​ ​from​ ​each​ ​of​ ​the​ ​related​ ​industries​ ​to​ ​help​ ​students​ ​connect to​ ​career​ ​potentials.​ ​Duke​ ​Energy​ ​will​ ​also​ ​provide​ ​plant​ ​tours,​ ​site visits,​ ​and​ ​introduce​ ​students​ ​to​ ​the​ ​high-tech​ ​world​ ​of​ ​energy. Students​ ​will​ ​explore​ ​how​ ​electricity​ ​is​ ​generated​ ​and​ ​provided​ ​to consumers.​ ​​​Guest​ ​speakers​ ​from​ ​the​ ​energy​ ​sector:​ ​biomass,​ ​ocean,nuclear,​ ​wind​ ​and​ ​solar,​ ​and​ ​related​ ​industries​ ​will​ ​provide​ ​students​ ​with access​ ​to​ ​career​ ​potentials​ ​and​ ​guide​ ​S.T.E.M.​ ​related​ ​projects.​ ​Students will​ ​address​ ​and​ ​research​ ​​past,​ ​present,​ ​and​ ​future​ ​decisions​ ​related to​ ​energy​ ​shortages.​ ​​

The​ ​study​ ​of​ ​engineering​ ​and​ ​the​ ​use​ ​of​ ​the​ ​S.T.E.M.​ ​process​ ​is​ ​a great​ ​educational​ ​pursuit.​ ​In​ ​it,​ ​students​ ​apply​ ​various​ ​disciplines toward​ ​a​ ​common​ ​goal.​ ​While​ ​“education​ ​for​ ​the​ ​purpose of enlightenment​ ​and​ ​eventual​ ​application​ ​in​ ​life​ ​is​ ​admirable,​ ​education for​ ​application​ ​now,​ ​to​ ​everyday​ ​life​ ​and​ ​its​ ​problems,​ ​can​ ​move​ ​the student​ ​to​ ​a​ ​different​ ​level​ ​and​ ​hopefully​ ​to​ ​a​ ​deepened perspective which​ ​can​ ​be​ ​applied​ ​to​ ​all​ ​educational​ ​pursuits. This​ ​project will use​ ​the​ ​S.T.E.M.​ ​platform​ ​and​ ​process for​ ​understanding​ ​the​ ​S.T.E.M.​ ​workforce​ ​in​ ​the​ ​community.​ Congratulations!

Grant recipient

(2017-18 Grant Recipients)

2017-2018 Motorola Press Release


2014-2015 funding provided Fort Meade High School Pharmacy Academy students Work-Based Experiences in connection with their business partner Well Dyne Rx.

2014 Ledger article

. Motorola logo


Suncoast Credit Union Grant:

Mulberry High School's teacher Todd Thuma was the recipient of the $5,000 Suncoast Credit Union Grant. Mr. Thuma is in year two of establishing an Engineering program for the high school students. This funding allowed him to purchase some specialized equipment and trainer for students to gain some hands-on experience. Thank you Suncoast Credit Union Foundation!

Suncoast GrantSuncoast


East Polk County Board of Realtors (EPCAR) Grant:

Chain of Lakes Elementary was the recipient of the $5,000 EPCAR grant. The goal of the project was to transform 2nd grade students into wildlife biologists who marvel at the wonders of the natural world, look closely at the habitat around them and work to protect the natural environment. They achieved this goal through hands-on interactive science experiences focused on a different environmental science topic: insects, water quality, owl pellets, amphibians, mammals, birds, trees, and friction. Thank you EPCAR for this great opportunity!



CORE Wealth Advisors Grant:

The CORE Wealth grants went to Bethune Academy and Babson Park Elementary to teach financial literacy skills. Bethune expanded their “Scallywag” book cart business to include 3 – 5 grade students. Students worked on inventory tracking, counting money, profits and loss, and other financial literacy skills. Babson Park students used OSMO Genius Kits to simulate running a business. Thank You CORE Wealth Advisors for this opportunity!

Babson Park RecipientBethune RecipientCORE Wealth Advisors


Would your company like to sponsor a grant program?

Donors are able to choose a focus for grants offered in their name or can instruct the Foundation to find a need for funds to be used. Contact Susan Copeland at 863-534-0434 for more information.

Other Programs

School Entrance Physicals

Forms for Entrance Physicals requests are found on the left side of our home page, and MUST BE COMPLETED AND SUBMITTED BY SCHOOL OFFICES ONLY. No forms will be accepted from parents or guardians. Please note: This will only cover an entrance physical and will not cover immunizations.

Recognition Programs

Sponsors are needed to help support the Teacher and School Related Employee of the Year Awards Program, the Polk County Hall of Fame, and About Face Awards. Please contact Susan Copeland at for more information.