Grants Awarded for Sensory Therapy, Fire Ecology, and Energy Education


For more information contact:

Fred Wallin 423-367-5700

December 10, 2020 4:30 PM

Grants Awarded to Kingsport Classroom Teachers on the Frontlines

KINGSPORT, Tenn. – During the Pandemic, our teachers have been on the frontlines caring for our kids. We could all use a little good news during these troubling times. Today, the Kingsport City Schools Education Foundation approved grants to teachers in the district for innovative classroom projects. The grants must be formally accepted by the Board of Education in January. The recipients are: Kelly Hernandez, Roosevelt Elementary, Bryan Kerns, Dobyns-Bennett High School, and Wendy Jones-Harrison, Jackson Elementary.

What is the foundation?

The Kingsport City Schools Foundation was started in 2018 by Mrs. Pat Turner, long time board member and chair of the Board of Education. Former city manager Jeff Fleming was recruited as a volunteer administrator shortly after his retirement in 2019. “When I saw who was on the board – Jeanette Blazier, Lynn Johnson, CeeGee McCord, and Wally Boyd -- I knew I wanted to help in any way I could,” Fleming said. “We were able to recruit Tammie Davis, Dr. Brenda White-Wright, and Fred Wallin to round out the board. It’s a great group of advocates for our school system,” he added.

Why was it started?

“Tax-funded budgets are getting tighter and tighter and many people want to help classroom teachers on the front lines, they just don’t know how,” said Mrs. Pat Turner, Foundation Chair. “We’ve been able to raise more than $140,000 in two years. To date, it’s been entirely personal donations – no businesses or corporations. That’s how strongly people feel about public education in Kingsport,” Turner said. “Our schools are our future and supporting classroom teachers is the key to our success,” she added.

Who gives and how?

The Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit that can accept many forms of donations of cash and assets. “We welcome small and large gifts. The benefits go directly to classroom teachers in Kingsport City Schools,” Fleming said. “Donation of stocks can be very beneficial for tax-planning purposes. We even have an Amazon Smile account. Every little bit helps,” he explained. For more information, contact Jeff Fleming at 423-914-9530 or visit or email Or you can send checks to: Kingsport City Schools Education Foundation | 400 Clinchfield Street, Suite 201 | Kingsport, TN 37660-3771

More about this year’s grant recipients:

Sensory Steamroller, Kelly Hernandez

Roosevelt Elementary is working to equip its designated sensory room with needed therapy equipment to help students be more successful in the classroom. Having this equipment can be the difference in a student staying at school or needing to leave school when they are overwhelmed. It is estimated that 5-16 percent of school age children have a processing disorder and 1 in 59 students on the autism scale. Many students with autism or a sensory processing disorder crave deep pressure. The Steamroller is a way they can get the deep pressure independently and learn to self soothe. The equipment will accommodate every child in Roosevelt’s K-5 population.

Fire Ecology Research Project on Wildfire Behavior, Bryan Kerns

Dobyns-Bennett High School has a unique program in wildland fire training that allows students to explore careers in firefighting and managing our natural resources. The grant provides funding for equipment. Dobyns-Bennett is in one of the first schools to offer a prescribed fire module to help inspire younger generations in exciting careers in natural resources.

Connecting With Circuits, Wendy Jones-Harrison

Jackson Elementary’s 3rd grade students have an opportunity to develop an understanding of electrical energy by designing, creating, and testing their own electrical circuit projects. The students use engineering principles to plan, test, and redesign for improvements, if needed. It’s an exciting opportunity for students to practically learn about energy & matter.

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The Kingsport City Schools Education Foundation, Inc. is a Section 501(c)(3) organization formed to support the students, employees, and programs of Kingsport City Schools (KCS) and to achieve and maintain a world-class school district.

Kingsport City Schools Education Foundation

Mrs. Pat Turner, President

Mrs. Jeanette Blazier, Vice President

Mr. Lynn Johnson, Secretary/Treasurer

Mr. Wally Boyd

Mrs. CeeGee McCord

Ms. Tammie Davis

Dr. Brenda White-Wright

Mr. Fred Wallin

Mr. Jim Welch, Chair, Board of Education

Dr. Jeff Moorhouse, School Superintendent

Mr. Jeff Fleming, retired city manager, serves as the Foundation’s voluntary administrator.

For more information:



Donate online:

Send checks to:

Kingsport City Schools Education Foundation

400 Clinchfield Street, Suite 201

Kingsport, TN 37660-3771

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