Kelley Beall (right) presents a check to Principal’s Secretary Diane Cisneros.

By Brad Stager

Helping educators, learners and families of Summerfield Elementary School develop better social and emotional skills is the purpose of a $6,618 grant the school received from the Interfaith Social Action Council of Sun City Center (ISAC).

The award is part of the council’s ongoing support of education in the SouthShore area through grants and scholarships. According to the organization’s website, it distributes more than $160,000 annually to nonprofit organizations in the community.

Kelley Beall is Summerfield Elementary’s social and emotional learning (SEL) coach and applied for the grant as a follow-up to a similar, successful proposal she submitted in 2017. The new grant will help sustain and grow the school’s SEL program, which helps students manage their emotions and make good decisions.

According to Beall, resource materials will be purchased with the money to expand SEL education to benefit more teachers and parents like Ayla Malone, who has a son enrolled at Summerfield.

Malone said SEL parent training has given her military family valuable tools that help them deal with many common daily issues in addition to those arising from her husband’s deployments.

“It helps me communicate better with my son and my son is willing to talk with me when he has problems,” said Malone, who volunteers at Summerfield.

According to Beall, the funding that ISAC provides makes it possible for educators to provide services when the school’s budget is tight.

“I would not be able to do this without the support of the Interfaith Social Action Council of Sun City Center,” she said, adding that the community can also help by shopping or donating items to ISAC’s Nearly New Shop, which generates revenue to support the organization’s charitable efforts.

The council also awards scholarships to seniors attending East Bay and Lennard High Schools that can be applied to any accredited college, university or trade school. Information about ISAC scholarships is available through school counselors.

To find out more information about ISAC and how it supports the community, visit online at www.interfaithcouncilofsuncitycenter.com, where you can also find grant applications, which are accepted in January and September each year.