Petal is proud to have one of the first Public School Education Foundations in the state of Mississippi. Founded in 1987, the Foundation’s sole purpose is to generate funds above and beyond the operating budget of the school system.
These tax-deductible gifts provide scholarships for students, grants for teachers, early childhood/family support and support for fine arts and athletic programs.
The Foundation is governed by a seventeen member board of directors.
The Petal Education Foundation administers a variety of scholarships to help students pursue higher educational goals. In many cases, the scholarships make the college and university experience accessible to students who might not otherwise dream of a college education.
Scholarship donors are corporations, associations, organizations and individuals who want to create a brighter future by encouraging higher education.
Donors have the opportunity to determine the criteria of their scholarship, and the foundation can provide assistance in establishing the scholarship funds.
To date, the Foundation has awarded more than 503 scholarships, totaling nearly $470,000.
The Class of 2021 will have the opportunity to apply for 71 scholarships, including the Addison Morgan ‘Shine Your Light’ Scholarship.
Addison was a fifth grader who lived out her Christ-like character and compassionate love toward others. She loved art in every form.
The recipient for this scholarship should exhibit these same qualities and be a good citizen.
In November 2020, Petal High School students in the Business, Marketing & Finance class helped package greeting cards for the "Shine Your Light" fund. Addison created all of the artwork featured on the greeting cards, and the sale proceeds will provide a second annual scholarship.
“Friends of the Foundation”
The “Friends of the Foundation” campaign begins at the start of the new school year. School district employees can participate with a one-time direct donation, monthly payroll deductions or a one-time payroll deduction to the line item of their choice. It is not unusual for participation to be near 100 percent.
In total, the “Friends of the Foundation” campaign raised $21,093.93 for the 2020-2021 school year.
Each spring, teachers can apply for a $1,000 mini-grant to purchase materials or equipment for proposed classroom enhancement projects.
Funding for the program comes from the Forrest County Board of Supervisors, car tag sales and the “Friends of the Foundation.”
Eleven grants were awarded for the 2020-2021 school year.
In February 2021, County Supervisor Burkett Ross, Petal Superintendent Dr. Matt Dillon and several Foundation board members attended a demonstration of Jana Perry’s STEM mini-grant in action. The demonstration included a showcase of the following programs: Pre-K/Kindergarten - “Escape Room”, 1st Grade - “Radial Symmetry” and 2nd Grade - “Catapult Math.”
Petal Excel By 5
Petal Excel By 5, the foundation’s early childhood development program, has partnered with the South Mississippi Children’s Concerts to raise funds for an infant/toddler playground at Hinton Park.
Petal will host two charity concerts, with approximately 1800-2000 preschool and elementary children.
Concerts will feature renowned musical artists to perform and engage the audience.
In previous shows, artists such as Don Monopoli, Mr. Al, Jack Hartmann, Stephen Fite, Thomas Moore and Red Grammer graced the Petal performing arts stage.