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Greco Middle School receives the Heart of America Foundation’s Halamandaris Award

May 07, 2020 - Points of Pride

Greco Middle School receives the Heart of America Foundation’s 2019 Halamandaris Award

The $5,000 Halamandaris Award – named after HOA co-founders Bill and Angie Halamandaris – will allow Greco to add additional robotics features to its Makerspace, allowing for students to compete with other sites. In addition, new technology books and crafting materials will be added to the current collection.

“When I received a call from The Heart of America Foundation, I assumed they had further questions about our application,” said Deborah. “I wasn’t expecting that they were calling to tell us we had actually won!”

At Greco Middle School, a portion of the library media center was transformed by adding an infusion of color and inspiring graphics, new furniture, hands-on technology, and resources for creating. The renovation was completed in a day by nearly 50 local volunteers.

“The Halamandaris Award is presented annually to an Alumni School that has made exemplary and innovative use of their renovation investment,” said Heart of America President and CEO Jill Heath. “Greco embodies this. Through its dynamic leadership and creative use of resources, Greco expanded its Media Center programming, saw its campus grade rise, and has been recognized at the state level for its dynamic Media Center.”

Greco Middle School has also been designated a Florida Power-Library School, a five-year accreditation for schools with integrated and dynamic Media Center programs. Griner says the Makerspace was an important feature of the Media Center that propelled Greco to this level of recognition from the Florida Department of Education.

“Media specialists and principals representing all grade levels from around the district have visited the Media Center to view the Makerspace and learn how to integrate a Makerspace into a media program,” Griner said.

“We are so proud of Deborah’s work here at Greco,” said Drew Olson, principal of the school. “She has transformed the media center and made it truly the hub of our school.”

This is Why #WeAchieveTogether.