Previous Grant Awards

Victory Ridge Academy (Formerly Our Children’s Academy) is proud to have helped the children of Polk County through the following partnerships and awards:

Mountain Lake Community Service:
On March 19, 2019, Victory Ridge Academy was awarded funding from Mountain Lake Community Service, Inc. Funding received from Mountain Lake will go towards purchasing materials for VRA’s Transition Program.

The Transition Program provides students in grades 6-12 the opportunity to learn career skills through safe, educational, hands-on instruction. It is through classroom instruction, venturing into the community and partnering with local organizations to perform vocational skills that Victory Ridge will prepare our students for a brighter, career-driven future.

Both staff and students at Victory Ridge Academy would like to thank Mountain Lake Community Service, Inc. for their generous donation and continued support over the years!

Wawa Foundation:
On July 31, 2018, Victory Ridge Academy was awarded funding from the Wawa Foundation. All funding received from the Wawa Foundation will go towards Victory Ridge Academy’s BackPack Program for the 2018-2019 school year.

Victory Ridge Academy’s BackPack Program will provide children who are disadvantaged and at-risk with food to sustain them over the nights, weekends and holidays when they leave our care. Both staff and students Victory Ridge Academy would like to thank the Wawa Foundation for their generous donation.

Florida’s Natural Growers Foundation:
On October 23, 2018, Victory Ridge Academy was awarded funding from the Florida’s Natural Growers Foundation. All funding received from the Foundation will go toward VRA’s School Wide Behavior Management System, which utilizes a positive approach and aids in providing clear expectations and consistent consequences that help students to become more productive in their learning environment.

Victory Ridge Academy recognizes the importance of establishing the social culture and behavioral supports needed for all children to achieve both social and academic success. Through this program our mission is to provide a high level of quality student behavioral support so that educators will be able to maintain effective classroom environments with minimal distractions.

Both staff and students at Victory Ridge Academy would like to thank the Florida’s Natural Growers Foundation for their generous donation and continued support over the years.

George W. Jenkins Fund / GiveWell Community Foundation:
On May 21, 2018, Victory Ridge Academy was awarded funding from the George W. Jenkins Fund within the GiveWell Community Foundation. Funding received will go towards Victory Ridge’s Summer Camp Program for Children with Special Needs.

The purpose of Victory Ridge’s Summer Camp for Children with Special Needs is to provide students with educational, therapeutic, and recreational activities throughout the month of June. Over the summer students lose important information obtained over the course of the school year. This information is difficult for all students to regain once the new school year has begun, but is especially difficult for our students with special needs.

Through Victory Ridge Academy’s proposed Summer Camp program, daily rigorous educational and therapeutic activities will further enhance these children’s preparedness to resume their studies for the 2018-2019 school year. Both staff and students Victory Ridge Academy would like to thank the George W. Jenkins Fund and the GiveWell

Walmart Community Grant:
On May 9, 2018, Victory Ridge Academy was awarded funding from the Walmart Foundation. Funding received from Walmart will go towards Victory Ridge Academy’s Summer Camp Program.

The purpose of Victory Ridge’s Summer Camp is to provide students with educational, therapeutic, and recreational activities throughout the month of June. Over the summer students lose important information obtained over the course of the school year. This information is difficult for all students to regain once the new school year has begun, but is especially difficult for our students with special needs. Through Victory Ridge Academy’s proposed Summer Camp program, daily rigorous educational and therapeutic activities will further enhance these children’s preparedness to resume their studies for the 2018-2019 school year.

Both staff and students Victory Ridge Academy would like to thank the Walmart Foundation for their generous donation and continued support over the years.

Mountain Lake Community Service:
On March 19, 2018, Victory Ridge Academy was awarded funding from Mountain Lake Community Service, Inc. Funding received from MLCS will go toward purchasing (1) Tobi Dynavox I-15+. The Tobi Dynavox I-15+ is an eye-controlled speech generating device specifically catered to individuals with Cerebral Palsy, Rett, or ALS who depend solely on augmentative and alternative communication.

Additionally, funding will be used to purchase Two-Way Radios for our staff to use across campus to communicate daily procedures, medication schedules; and in case of emergencies.

Both staff and students Victory Ridge Academy would like to thank Mountain Lake Community Service, Inc. for their generous donation and continued support of our school.

McGuire Difference Award:
On December 21, 2017, Victory Ridge Academy (VRA) was awarded the McGuire Difference Award from McGuire Kia and McGuire Chevrolet. All funding received will go towards VRA’s School Café and upcoming Farm-to-Table Food Truck. Participants in this program will learn food prep, hospitality, workforce, and independent life skills. Furthermore, this unique project will help facilitate proper etiquette and day-to-day routines as students will learn to prepare healthy foods.

Additionally, funding will go towards purchasing a Dynamic Stander for our students with physical disabilities. This state-of-the-art piece of therapeutic equipment will help students achieve their therapy and standing goals; while also providing support to students’ breathing, circulation, and digestion.

Both staff and students at Victory Ridge Academy would like to thank McGuire Kia and McGuire Chevrolet for their generous donation and support!

Florida’s Natural Growers Foundation:
On November 3, 2017, Victory Ridge Academy (VRA) was awarded funding from the Florida’s Natural Growers Foundation. All funding received from the Foundation will go toward VRA’s School Wide Behavior Management System, which utilizes a positive approach and aids in providing clear expectations and consistent consequences that help students to become more productive in their learning environment.

Victory Ridge Academy recognizes the importance of establishing the social culture and behavioral supports needed for all children to achieve both social and academic success. Through this program our mission is to provide a high level of quality student behavioral support so that educators will be able to maintain effective classroom environments with minimal distractions.

Both staff and students at Victory Ridge Academy would like to thank the Florida’s Natural Growers Foundation for their generous donation and continued support over the years.

Duke Energy through Polk Education Foundation:
On October 16, 2017, Victory Ridge Academy was awarded funding from Duke Energy through the Polk Education Foundation. All funding received will go towards purchasing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) materials and equipment for our school’s Science Builders Club, which will serve our students with special needs in 2nd-12th grade.

Staff and students at Victory Ridge Academy would like to thank both Duke Energy and the Polk Education Foundation for their generous donation and continued support over the years!

George W. Jenkins Fund within the GiveWell Community Foundation:
On May 17, 2017 Our Children’s Academy was awarded funding from the George W. Jenkins Fund within the GiveWell Community Foundation. All funding received from the donors will go towards providing our classrooms with state-of-the-art therapeutic and specialty learning equipment.

Both staff and students at Our Children’s Academy would like to thank the GiveWell Community Foundation and the George W. Jenkins Fund for their generous donation and continued support over the years.

Walmart Facility #1061:
On April 20, 2017 OCA/VRA was awarded funding from Walmart Community Grants. All funding received from the Foundation will go towards providing our school’s Speech-Language Pathology Department with evaluation materials to determine where each student performs, as well as to identify the specific interventions each of our students need.

Both staff and students at OCA/VRA would like to thank Walmart Community Grants and Walmart Distribution Center #1061 for their generous donation and continued support over the years.

Walmart Facility #580:
On April 14, 2017 Our Children’s Academy was awarded funding from Walmart Community Grants. All funding received from the Foundation will go towards providing our school’s Speech-Language Pathology Department with evaluation materials to determine where each student performs, as well as to identify the specific interventions each of our students need.

Both staff and students at Our Children’s Academy would like to thank Walmart Community Grants and Walmart Facility #580 for their generous donation and continued support over the years.

Mountain Lake Community Service:
On April 5, 2017,  Our Children’s Academy was awarded funding from Mountain Lake Community Service. All funding received from the Foundation will go toward providing our classrooms with state-of-the-art therapeutic and specialty learning equipment. Both staff and students at Our Children’s Academy would like to thank Mountain Lake Community Service for their generous donation and continued support over the years.

Florida’s Natural Growers Foundation:
On October 14, 2016, Our Children’s Academy was awarded funding from the Florida’s Natural Growers Foundation. All funding received from the Foundation will go toward OCA’s School Wide Behavior Management System, which utilizes a positive approach and aids in providing clear expectations and consistent consequences that help students to become more productive in their learning environment.

Our Children’s Academy recognizes the importance of establishing the social culture and behavioral supports needed for all children to achieve both social and academic success. Through this program our mission is to provide a high level of quality student behavioral support so that educators will be able to maintain effective classroom environments with minimal distractions.

Both staff and students at Our Children’s Academy would like to thank the Florida’s Natural Growers Foundation for their generous donation.

Duke Energy through Polk Education Foundation:
On October 13, 2016, Our Children’s Academy was awarded funding from Duke Energy through the Polk Education Foundation. All funding received will go towards purchasing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) materials and equipment for our students with special needs, grades 1st through 6th.

Both staff and students at Our Children’s Academy would like to thank Duke Energy and the Polk Education Foundation for their generous donation.

Dollar General Literacy Foundation:
On September 21, 2016, Our Children’s Academy was awarded funding from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. This local grant is part of $4.5 million in youth literacy grants awarded to approximately 1,000 organizations across the 43 states that Dollar General serves. Given at the beginning of the academic school year, these grants are aimed at supporting teachers, schools and organizations with resources to strengthen and enhance literacy instruction.

All funding Our Children’s Academy has received from Dollar General will go towards purchasing instructional literacy materials for K-5 students, including nonverbal students who participate in the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS). The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) was developed by Andy Bondy, Ph.D. and Lori Frost, M.S., CCC-SLP to help children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and other developmental disabilities learn to initiate communication through use of pictures. PECS is a school-wide initiative with educators, therapists, and families collaborating to meet the needs of students, and is utilized across many age groups and disabilities at Our Children’s.

Both staff and students at Our Children’s Academy would like to thank the Dollar General Literacy Foundation for their generous donation to our school.

Walmart Community Grants:
On May 6, 2016, Our Children’s Academy was awarded funding from Walmart Community Grants and Walmart Facility #580. All funding received from Walmart will go towards purchasing a variety of materials and equipment to be used for OCA’s Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) program.

The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) was developed by Andy Bondy, Ph.D. and Lori Frost, M.S., CCC-SLP to help children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and other developmental disabilities learn to initiate communication through use of pictures. Since its start in 1985, PECS has helped countless children and adults learn to communicate with others. PECS is a school-wide initiative with educators, therapists, and families collaborating to meet the needs of students, and is utilized across many age groups and disabilities at Our Children’s Academy.

Both staff and students at Our Children’s Academy would like to thank Walmart Community Grants and Walmart Facility #580 for their generous donation to our school.

Mountain Lake Community Service:
On March 8, 2016, Our Children’s Academy was awarded funding from Mountain Lake Community Service. All funding received from MLCS will go toward purchasing a variety of materials and equipment to be used for OCA’s upcoming Farm-to-Table Food Truck. Through this unique project, staff and students will establish and sustain Our Children’s Farm-to-Table Food Truck and utilize it to serve locally grown, freshly prepared food to community members in the Lake Wales area. Educators at Our Children’s will help students to make connections between classroom learning and community service in order to prepare each child for a brighter career-driven future.

Both staff and students at Our Children’s Academy would like to thank Mountain Lake Community Service for their generous donation to our school.

University of Florida / Bok Tower Gardens:
On October 14th, 2015, Our Children’s Academy was awarded funding from the University of Florida IFAS Extension and Bok Tower Gardens Partnership School Gardens Program. All funding will go toward OCA’s School Garden, which will enhance the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) curriculum being taught to our students in grades 3-9th. Additionally participants in this project will learn food prep, hospitality, workforce, and independent life skills as they incorporate our school garden with OCA’s upcoming Farm-to-Table Food Truck program.

Both staff and students at Our Children’s Academy would like to the University of Florida and Bok Tower Gardens for their generous donation to our school.

GiveWell Community Foundation:
On July 6, 2015, Our Children’s Academy was awarded funding from the George W. Jenkins Fund within the GiveWell Community Foundation. All funding will go toward Our Children’s Academy’s Farm-to-Table Food Truck program, which will provide our students in grades 4th through 9th the opportunity to learn career and culinary art skills through a safe, educational, mobile experience. Participants in this project will learn food prep, hospitality, workforce, and independent life skills.

Both staff and students at Our Children’s Academy would like to thank both the GiveWell Community Foundation and the George W. Jenkins Fund for their generous donation to our school.

Mountain Lake Community Service:
On March 2, 2015, Our Children’s Academy was awarded funding from Mountain Lake Community Service. All funding received from MLCS will go towards purchasing a variety of recreational and therapeutic equipment to be used at OCA’s main campus.

Both staff and students at Our Children’s Academy would like to thank Mountain Lake Community Service for their generous donation to our school.

GiveWell Community Foundation:
On February 6, 2015, Our Children’s Academy was awarded funding from the GiveWell Community Foundation. All funding will go towards Our Children’s Academy’s Farm-to-Table Food Truck, which will provide our students with special needs the opportunity to learn career and culinary art skills through a safe, educational, mobile experience. Participants in this project will learn food prep, hospitality, workforce, and independent life skills.

Both staff and students at Our Children’s Academy would like to thank the GiveWell Community Foundation for their generous donation to our school.

Target Field Trips and Scholarship America:
On January 12, 2015, Our Children’s Academy was awarded funding from Target Field Trips and Scholarship America. All funding will go towards Our Children’s Academy’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) based field trip to Legoland, which will take place in May 2015.

Both staff and students at Our Children’s Academy would like to thank Target Field Trips and Scholarship America for their generous donation to our school.

Walmart Foundation through Local Community Giving Program:
On December 1, 2014, Our Children’s Academy was awarded funding from the Walmart Foundation through their Local Community Giving Program. All funding received from Walmart will go towards Our Children’s Academy’s School Wide Behavior Modification Program.

OCA’s School Wide Behavior Modification system utilizes a positive approach and aids in providing clear expectations and consistent consequences that help children to become more productive in their learning environment.

Both staff and students at Our Children’s Academy would like to thank the following local Walmart stores for their generous donations: Walmart Facility: #580 and Walmart Facility #859.

Walmart Foundation through Local Community Giving Program:
On November 10, 2014, Our Children’s Academy was awarded funding from the Walmart Foundation through their Local Community Giving Program. All funding received from Walmart will go towards Our Children’s Academy’s School Wide Behavior Modification Program.

OCA’s School Wide Behavior Modification system utilizes a positive approach and aids in providing clear expectations and consistent consequences that help children to become more productive in their learning environment.

Both staff and students at Our Children’s Academy would like to thank the following local Walmart stores for their generous donations: Walmart Facility: #6071 and Walmart Facility #725.

Florida’s Natural Growers Foundation:
On November 3, 2014, Our Children’s Academy was awarded a grant from Florida’s Natural Growers Foundation. All funds received from Florida’s Natural will go toward Our Children’s Academy’s Health and Prevention Education program.

Our Children’s Health and Prevention Education program was identified as a way to provide opportunity for human growth and development, as well as a sense of personal independence for our more medically intensive middle school students.

Both staff and students at Our Children’s Academy would like to thank Florida’s Natural for their generous donation, as well as all of the support their organization has shown to OCA over the years.

George W. Jenkins Fund within the GiveWell Community Foundation:
On June 16, 2014, Our Children’s Academy’s “Building a System to Enhance and Promote Community Inclusion for Students with Behavior Disabilities” program was funded by a grant from the George W. Jenkins Fund within the GiveWell Community Foundation.

This program will help our students to become active members of their communities, while also assisting them in developing social and interpersonal skills that focus on empowerment and independent interaction with individuals outside of their immediate environment. By enhancing these skills through group outings to various locations within the community, OCA’s goal is to provide our students with skills that allow them to have the highest quality of life possible.

Both staff and students at Our Children’s Academy would like to thank both the George W. Jenkins Fund, and the GiveWell Community Foundation for their incredible generosity in making funding for this unique program possible.

Mountain Lake Community Service:
In February 2014, Our Children’s Academy was awarded Mountain Lake Community Service’s grant. Funding from this grant will go towards various curriculum and materials needed for sensory integration and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).

Our Children’s Academy was founded as a school for children with special needs in the heart of Lake Wales. The foundation of OCA was based on the belief that all children deserve a place to belong. It is our belief that our students need a safe, positive and nurturing learning environment to develop communication skills, social skills, academic and technical skills in order to build their self-confidence and capacity as learners. All curricula and materials purchased through this grant will provide our students the opportunity to meet their potential within society.

Both staff and students at Our Children’s Academy would like to thank Mountain Lake Community Service for their incredibly generous donation to our cause.

Lowe’s Toolbox for Education:
In January 2014, Our Children’s Academy was awarded $5,000 from the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation (LCEF). All funds received from Lowe’s will go toward Our Children’s Therapeutic Garden, which will enhance the curriculum being taught in the school’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) lab and classroom by teaching students how to grow, harvest and prepare healthy produce.

Our Children’s will use funding to purchase planting and literacy materials, as well as t-shirts with Lowe’s logo to be given as souvenirs to our students and volunteers who spend their time assisting in the school’s garden.

Both staff and students at Our Children’s Academy would like to thank Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation (LCEF) for their incredibly generous donation. We believe that through this grant, as well as future community contributions, our school’s garden will be able to flourish for years to come.

Bi-Lo Holdings Foundation:
On December 19, 2013, Our Children’s Academy was awarded $5,000 from the Bi-Lo Holdings Foundation. All funds received from the Bi-Lo Holdings Foundation will go toward Our Children’s Organic Garden, which will teach students with special needs how to grow, harvest and prepare healthy foods that will encourage them to live a healthy lifestyle both now, and in their futures.

Through Our Children’s garden, staff and students will integrate hands on learning opportunities that spark inquisitiveness and exploration while cultivating children’s interest in living things. In addition, lessons taught in the garden will be reinforced through incorporation into in-class reading, STEM, (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) art and other academic studies.

Established in 1943, the Bi-Lo Holdings Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) dedicated to making the communities they serve a better place to live. The Bi-Lo Holdings Foundation awards grants to organizations that support programs and initiatives helping to foster healthy and thriving communities in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Both staff and students at Our Children’s Academy would like to thank the Bi-Lo Holdings Foundation for their incredibly generous donation.

Polk Education Foundation:
On December 18th, 2013, Our Children’s Middle Academy was awarded matching funds from the Polk Education Foundation. All funds received from Polk Education will go toward Our Children’s Middle Academy’s Robotics program led by the school’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) instructor, Eric Gooden.

The need for this program was identified as a way of increasing STEM knowledge and education for the students. The robotics program will act as an exciting venue of bringing STEM concepts to our students needing hands-on experience. Furthermore, it will act as an excellent way of creating a learning curriculum that is both educational and entertaining for young minds.

Both staff and students at Our Children’s Middle Academy would like to thank the Polk Education Foundation for their generous donation.

Duke Energy:
On October 23, 2013 Our Children’s Academy was awarded $3,000 from Duke Energy’s Full STEM Ahead! Education Grant. All funds received from Duke Energy will be used in order to educate students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) with a focus on agriculture.

One of the linchpin programs at Our Children’s Academy is its STEM curriculum. This innovative program is designed to increase student achievement by utilizing well rounded, hands-on experiences to present science concepts both in and outside of the STEM lab. STEM education begins by incorporating the child not only into the STEM lab, but by assimilating all subject areas in the classroom with specific focus being placed on language and literacy.

Both staff and students at Our Children’s Academy would like to thank Duke Energy for their generous donation.

Florida’s Natural Growers Foundation:
On October 14, 2013 Our Children’s Academy and Our Children’s Middle Academy were awarded $2,000 from the Florida’s Natural Growers Foundation. All funds received from Florida’s Natural will be used in order to educate students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), as well as to teach our students how to become employable citizens in the greater Lake Wales area and possible candidates for employment with Florida’s Natural.

Both staff and students at Our Children’s Academy and Our Children’s Middle Academy would like to thank the Florida’s Natural Growers Foundation for their generous donation.