Mini-Grants Fund Character Initiatives in Schools and Local Agencies

United Way of Martin County recently awarded twenty-four CHARACTER COUNTS! mini-grants totaling $15,895 to faculty and staff in the Martin County School District and local non-profit agencies. We are especially grateful to our 2018 Tee It Up for Character Golf Tournament Mini-Grant contributors: Phyllis Kordick, Mark & LaDonna Lively, Gerry Long, Wayne Shepard, Mark Brechbill, Dori and Charlie DiToro, George Rea, Tammy Calabria, Blake Norman, Tom and Sue Whittington, Ken Ringe, Janice Norman, Michael Neary, Steve MacDonald, and Evans Crary. The CHARACTER COUNTS! mini-grant program, now in its eleventh year, funds projects to promote, implement, and enrich CHARACTER COUNTS! character education programs, including programs addressing bullying prevention, youth substance abuse and other risky behaviors, and improving parent / family / community involvement. Since 2007, this program has awarded over $116,000 to implement 175 projects that have impacted more than 40,000 individuals throughout Martin County. The recipients of this year’s CHARACTER COUNTS! mini-grants are:

1. Dr. David L Anderson Middle, Kelly Middleton and Vonetta Allen – Be Equitable, Be Courageous, Be Proud with the Six Pillars of Character

2. Bessey Creek Elementary, Joan Bauman – I-Stand Club: CHARACTER COUNTS! Friendship Benches

3. Citrus Grove Elementary, Ashley Ciliberti – And Open Book: Book Club for Kids

4. Hope Center for Autism, K Pitcher, A Nolasco, K Suarez, K Willis, M Raymond – Developing Hope at Home

5. Hope Center for Autism, Sara Vaiu – Creating A World of Kindness

6. Jensen Beach Elementary, Holly Dowling – Vikings Sailing in with Character Patrol

7. Jensen Beach High, Jamie Spooner – Gratitude over Attitude

8. Murray Middle – Nicole Hammond – Murray Middle School Beautification Project

9. Murray Middle, Nicole Hammond – Your Character Counts Here at Murray

10. Pinewood Elementary, Vanessa Muto – CHARACTER COUNTS! Employee of the Month

11. Riverbend Academy, Cara Gabrielson and Gary Sparks – Visions of Character

12. SeaWind Elementary, Jennifer Michels – SWE School Family Team Celebration

13. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Palm Beach & Martin Counties, Katie Knapfel – Think Big Club Activities and Enhancements

14. Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County, Genaris Haston – Character Counts in HEROES

15. Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County, John Robitaille – Your Character Counts Positive Life Skills

16. Helping People Succeed, Suzy Hutcheson – Capture Character

17. Hibiscus Children’s Center, Nicole Bickford-Henry and Lisa Wynne – Growing Good Character

18. Hobe Sound Early Learning Center, Mary King – Raising Resilient Children

19. Hope Rural School, Crystal Kirshner – Exploration of the Six Pillars of Character through Drama and Storytelling

20. KinDoo Family Center, Sister Mary Dooley – Character Counts at KinDoo Family Center

21. SafeSpace Inc., Monique Coleman – Connecting to Character

22. SafeSpace Inc., Monique Coleman – Does Your Relationship Have Character?

23. Students4H2O, Adriana Mancini – Water Fest

24. Tykes & Teens Inc., Lauren Espitia – Project Graduation

For more information regarding United Way of Martin County’s CHARACTER COUNTS! program, visit or call (772) 283-4800, ext. 234.