Last year, Superintendent Tanya Rodwell prepared a grant to present to Phillips 66 to buy computer tablets for the high school students, hoping to increase their technical savvy before they hit the job market. She got the idea from Brad Phillips, head football coach and girls' basketball coach at Cheraw. He is also area manager for Phillips 66 Pipeline. Phillips 66 had been awarding grants for his volunteer work with the kids in Cheraw during the summertime. Brad Phillips told Rodwell Phillips 66 had other grant programs as well.
Rodwell wrote the grant for $25,000, enough to cover tablets for the high school. The surprise came last October when Phillips texted her that Phillips 66 had upped the amount of the grant to $75,000, enough to cover a computer tablet for every child in school. No more going to the computer lab for a group computer lesson, said Rodwell. Now they can just take their own computer out of their desk or wherever it is stored and do the lesson.
The level of excitement in the old gym was high as Rodwell explained what the grant meant to the students. Their teachers must have been doing the same, for a couple of preschoolers came up and made a thank you presentation to the Phillips 66 representatives right after the representatives had presented the $75,000 check to the school. The preschooler shook the hand of Scott Hand, Phillips 66 integrity engineer from Denver. The other Phillips 66 presenters, also sincerely thanked, were Travis Matthew, Denver area director and a graduate of Cheraw High School, and coach Brad Phillips.