The Byerly Foundation last week announced it has approved grants for the 2019-2020 fiscal year totaling almost $2 million to 12 organizations to aid in their efforts to improve education, enhance economic development or meet more social needs in the greater Hartsville area.

The largest grant award will go to Butler Academy, a new charter school that is starting up in the Hartsville area. The school was awarded a multi-year grant of $1.2 million that will be paid out over a five-year period. The first grant will be for $300,000 in the new fiscal year.

“We are very grateful for the Byerly Foundation’s support,” said Jerome Reyes, president of Butler Academy. “Our school has committed to having no more than 20 students per class, which allows teachers to readily recognize and address each student’s social, emotional and academic needs. The Byerly Foundation’s financial support allows this commitment to be affordable.” Reyes said the funding is important for other reasons as well. “Their support is also key to our success because startup costs for a new school can be monumental,” Reyes said. “There are no local or state funds specifically allocated to cover basic costs such as buying school furniture and equipment, securing a facility, or recruiting new staff and students. However, the Byerly Foundation’s commitment to our mission means that we are able to get a running start in these areas and plenty others, and we couldn’t be more thankful.”

Plans call for the new tuition-free, public charter school to open with the start of the 2020-21 school year with 200 students in kindergarten through fourth grade and to grow to capacity by the start of the 2025-26 school year with 520 students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

State officials approved Butler Academy’s new school application in April.

Other grant recipients for this cycle include:

Cypress Adventures was awarded a $200,000 grant that will be paid out over two years. Cypress Adventures works on a variety of leadership programs focused on high school and middle school students.

Coker University has been approved for a three-year grant totaling $300,000 to help establish a new Bachelors Nursing Degree. The University is currently in the formative stages of this degree program.

The Trent Hill Center for Children and Families was approved for a grant of $50,500 to assist with the construction of a new counseling facility on the Center’s property.

The Hartsville Area Girl Scout Program was approved for a grant of $13,900 to assist with the renovation of the Girl Scout Hut in Hartsville.

The Man to Man organization has been awarded $102,000 to expand and strengthen a Fatherhood program in the Hartsville area.

Free Medical Clinic of Darlington County received a grant of $15,937.60 to help fund a Physician’s Assistant who will be working at both the Hartsville and Darlington clinics.

Darlington County Council on Aging was approved for a $30,000 grant to help purchase a new vehicle that will be used for Meals on Wheels distribution and other needs of the Council in the area.

Harvest Hope of the Pee Dee was awarded a grant of $27,695.00 to help with costs of expanding the feeding ability of several organizations in the Hartsville area who work with the Feeding the Future initiative.

The Hartsville Fire Department was awarded a grant of $13,084 to help expand and improve community training on the effective use of fire extinguishers.

The Main Street Façade program received a grant of $10,000 to continue the organization’s ability to help businesses improve their facades in the downtown Hartsville area. This grant is administered through the City of Hartsville.

Trees for Tomorrow works on planting and caring for trees around the Hartsville area and this organization was approved for a $10,000 grant to assist with this work.

And The Byerly Foundation has approved a $5,000 grant for Angel Flight to help with the costs of helping Hartsville area patients who need flight transportation for medical care.

The Byerly Foundation was established in 1995 using the proceeds of the sale of The Byerly Hospital to start a private foundation whose mission has been to help Hartsville continue to be one of the strongest communities in South Carolina.

The foundation currently has approximately $22 million invested and uses funds from those investments to provide grants in the greater Hartsville area under the rules of the U. S. Department of Internal Revenue. Since its inception, The Byerly Foundation has provided more than $20 million in grants.

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