Graduate Student Turns Course Project Into Funding For Local Elementary School

She’s the mother of twins and was close to delivering her third child when College of Charleston Science and Math For Teachers (SMFT) student Kasandra Passmore wrote a grant that produced $4,000 for a local elementary school. She wrote the grant as part of a final project for Patty O’Donnell’s Educational Research course.

The grant was awarded through the Fuel Up To Play 60 program and funded by the Southeast United Dairy Industry Association, Inc. The money will go to Westview Primary School in Goose Creek, where Passmore’s 4-year-olds attend Headstart.

“My reaction was pure joy!” says O’Donnell, an faculty member in the School of Health, Education and Human Performance. “What could be better than to have a student take a classroom project and use it to get needed supplies and materials for her children’s school? Kasi took the project guidelines, asked a few questions, and jumped head first into the waters, all while pregnant, by the way! This is the kind of result that makes teaching worthwhile.”

Passmore, who also attended Westview as a child, knew she wanted to put her efforts there. O’Donnell advised Passmore to find out what the school needed, and Passmore met with the principal and lead P.E. teacher to outline specific activities and healthy-eating initiatives. The grant money will be used to buy new P.E. equipment, two industrial size blenders, and fruits and vegetables from local markets.

As a quantitative researcher and grant writer herself, O’Donnell says, “Teachers now have to pay a good deal of money out of pocket, especially in the arts, as districts’ budgets are cut. Grants are an excellent source of money to fund classroom projects.”

Passmore hopes to one day teach at Westview, but she says she is prepared for any employment opportunity. “I can move forward with confidence that I can be an asset to any school as a highly qualified teacher and as an individual working to improve public schools through grant writing.”

For more information, contact Patty O’Donnell at 843-953-4837 or