Since being honored last year through the endowment of the Fred Tucker Physical Fitness Chair, Coach Fred Tucker has seen first-hand the benefits of the grant.
Teacher Darcie Norton at the Tift County Pre-K Center was awarded $3,000 this year through the Fred Tucker Physical Fitness Chair for music and movement activities that help align pre-kindergarten standards with Common Core Georgia Performance standards. Tucker recently visited her class and “rocked out” with the students. The grant will serve 330 students.
“We, students and faculty, at Tift County Pre-K were so tickled to receive the Fred Tucker Physical Fitness Grant,” Norton said. “Mrs. Carolyn Ellis comes to the Pre-K Center once each month and works with our students on physical development, creative development and listening skills. Coach Tucker is an inspiration for all of us, young and old. He is the perfect example of ‘a body in motion tends to stay in motion.’ Thanks so much to the Tift County Foundation for Educational Excellence for providing this opportunity for all of the students at Tift County Pre-K Center.”
Mike Brumby, executive director of the TCFEE, said this is the foundation’s first annual grant under the new chair.
“Contributions to the Fred Tucker Physical Fitness Chair just keep on coming,” he said. “The Tifton High School class of 1953 had their 60th reunion on October 12 and invited Fred and Peggy Tucker as special guests. Coach Tucker made some heartwarming remarks to the delight of all. The class, which had already contributed generously to the endowment of the chair, sent a check for an additional $1,125 to the TCFEE to grow the fund, which generates annual grants for teachers to put their best ideas into practice.”
Brumby noted that interest in chairs is exploding. He said at the moment, no less than four new chairs are in the endowment phase. He provided the following information on the Fred Tucker Physical Fitness Chair when it was endowed:
“Through the generous and enthusiastic support of former players and students, Fred is hereby honored with the endowment of the Fred Tucker Physical Fitness Chair. Charging into his 89th year of life, Coach Tucker still teaches a full load of five PE classes before heading over to the middle school to volunteer his coaching talents for football and track. Somehow Fred still manages to walk 10-15 miles daily, having already covered a distance equivalent to having circled the earth more than twice over. With students increasingly overweight and out of shape and school budgets being mightily squeezed, the Fred Tucker Physical Fitness Chair could not come at a better time or boast a better champion.”
The Academic Chair Endowment Program of the TCFEE was initiated in 1993. The purpose of the program is to provide exceptional opportunities for Tift County Public Schools to strengthen and enrich education in specific disciplines through a variety of creative learning experiences which are not a part of the regular curriculum. These experiences are made possible through funds generated from a variety of academic chairs, each established and endowed in the name of an individual who is closely identified with the selected discipline of area of learning. Each chair is endowed through private contributions with a minimum of $25,000. T
There are currently 11 academic chairs that generate grants every year, and their working on establishing the Joe Courson Media Chair. The total 2013 chair grants awarded amounted to $17,380. It is the goal of the foundation to add additional chairs as needed and opportunities arise.
To contact reporter Latasha Ford, call 382-4321.