ROSWELL, Ga. — The Roswell North Elementary Foundation was recently granted $10,000 to help fund a new outdoor classroom.
The Roswell Wine Festival, held Oct. 6, chooses to send a portion of its proceeds to local nonprofits each year.
“We decided very early on that we wanted to build an event that helped the community and benefit local nonprofits,” said Roswell Wine Festival Co-Founder Dwight Cunningham.
This year, Wine Festival organizers chose the Roswell North Elementary Foundation as well as Star House and North Fulton Community Charities.
“We love to fund projects that have a lasting impact in Roswell,” said Roswell Wine Festival Co-Founder Peggy Robinson. “Early education is so important. [Dwight and I] actually met in college and now each have our own young families. We are passionate about early education, because it lasts a lifetime.”
Cunningham and Robinson chose the Foundation, in part, because of the work one teacher, Elizabeth Rains, has been doing with the students in the school’s garden. Students at every level work with Rains to plant, grow, harvest and later cook vegetables. Such programs are an extension of the school’s Licata Science Lab.
The Roswell North Elementary Foundation is the sole source of funding for the Licata Science Lab and its extension programs for cooking and gardening as well as the salary of full-time teacher Rains.
“This permanent outdoor classroom will be enjoyed by students and community members for years to come,” Robinson said. “We also love what Elizabeth Rains is doing with the students at Roswell North to offer them hands-on experiences. Perhaps one year they will even grow grapes in the gardens adjacent to the outdoor classroom.”
Roswell North Elementary Foundation President Lyndsay Slocum said she was excited about such a large step toward the $40,000 goal needed to create the outdoor classroom.
“The outdoor classroom has long been a dream of students and teachers alike, and without this substantial donation, it would still be a distant vision,” she said.
During the Roswell Wine Festival, Roswell North Elementary School parents and business partners donated more than 200 wine bottles for a Wine Pull that raised close to an additional $4,000 for the outdoor classroom.
Previous beneficiaries of grant awards include Bert›s Big Adventure, Roswell Fine Arts Alliance, Friends of Roswell Parks, ArtAround Roswell, Keep Roswell Beautiful and the Children›s Development Academy.
The annual Roswell Wine Festival is one of Atlanta’s fastest-selling events. This year, 2,500 people attended and tickets sold out within an hour.