Frazier family donation benefits Soddy Elementary students
Soddy Elementary School students are benefiting from a sizable donation from a local family. The Fraziers were an important part of the Soddy Daisy community. They loved one another, loved the people around them and loved the Soddy community in which they lived.
Almeda Frazier passed away in November 2012 and Earl Leander Frazier passed almost 3 years later in October 2015. After Earl Lee’s passing, Soddy Elementary learned more of their love and commitment to their community. While it will come as no surprise to anyone that knew them, it may come as a surprise to those that did not, that in their passing they designated a portion of their estate to benefit Soddy Elementary. Principal Kim Roden said, "It is difficult to find the words to accurately convey our gratitude for the incredible gift in which they have bestowed to Soddy Elementary."
Roden added, "Upon learning of the very generous monetary contribution left to Soddy Elementary the faculty and staff were first shocked and over-joyed, followed quickly by a feeling of gratefulness. Grateful that we would now be able give to the students at Soddy Elementary in ways that we are not always able. While we do not know what the total contribution will be, we have already been given enough to add to the great things already happening at Soddy. During the 2016-2017 school year we were tasked with Engaging Every Child Everyday as part of a district wide initiative. We took these two things and went to the drawing board to figure out how we could use the generosity of the Frazier’s to engage every child."
She continued, "One of the first decisions we made was to add an art teacher. We hired an art teacher 4 days per week to teach all students prek-5. We showed the success of our students engaging in art as part of their academic program at Dinner and the Arts Night during the last full week of school this year. We will continue to use this gift for an art teacher in the coming school year. We also understood the importance of play; as a brain break, as a time to be social and build relationships with peers, as a time to be creative and imaginative, and as a time to just be a kid. We again looked to the gift we had been given and created a brand new playground for our younger students and added playground equipment to our already existing playground. The new playground was completed the last week of school. The next phase will be to add a swing set for students."
The Frazier Funds allowed the school to purchase classroom materials in the areas of literacy, math and science. Teachers are able to use these materials to enhance and enrich the student learning.
Roden concluded, "We are still planning for future investments for the students of Soddy Elementary. Our leadership team realizes the vision of Earl Lee and Almeda Frazier in that they wanted to support the school, they wanted to give back to their community. We have planned to save a percentage of the money to be used in future years. We know that the needs of the students and school community will change over time. We want the Frazier’s generosity to benefit as many students as possible. We will continue to look for ways to support our students and meet their needs. We will continue to show our appreciation and gratitude for the kindness Earl Lee and Almeda Frazier showed our school and our students. For those people that knew these kind-hearted individuals, please know how grateful we are to them. What they have given Soddy Elementary has opened up a world of possibilities for our current and future students."