A young boy , born at home and reared in the country, the child of hard-working , loving parents, who possessed little  formal education themselves  ,  entered school at the age of six———–and found his calling.

And his journey began……

Continuing his passion, he entered college , graduated on time, and , as expected , stayed on the path he had chosen :  being an educator himself.   He , like others, contributed in many positions and in many disciplines, even coaching through the years.

And his journey continued……

Never marrying, he “adopted ” children along the way :  paying for school lunches for those whose families lacked the money to do so ;  paying college tuition for poor, but deserving, students ;  and reaching out financially to those in need for incidentals, such as notebooks , pencils , uniforms , sneakers , book bags, lunch boxes ,  and others too numerous to name.

And his journey progressed………..

Following his passion to the top of his profession, affecting kids and families and his community, he gave it all.  Remaining a bachelor for a lifetime, his true goal was always making his community a better and stronger place  by encouraging  education  at every level for every citizen.

And his journey never paused…………

He led a simple life, comprised of his church, his garden, and his love and support of high school basketball.  A special gift was maintaining the local football field at no cost to anyone.  Just one more way to give……………………

And the journey did not die …….

He established a Foundation for teachers and schools to help students have more and better opportunities.  My husband , having known him well through the years, always laughingly said that this very gentleman had the first dollar he ever earned !  An exaggeration, of course, but his respect for money and what it can accomplish is continuing to serve our schools, our teachers, and, most important of all , our students.

And the journey never stops……..

This Foundation is more than comfortable and stable.  Since his death it has responded to faculty in all the elementary schools by funding what they justified as much needed support for their students.  The Foundation Board, consisting of 5 members, relies on the teachers’ expertise and knowledge to make decisions regarding the need for extra financing.  It has been a success with support in areas that regular funding cannot accommodate.

And  the journey expands ………

The Foundation , as time goes on, will broaden its generosity, reaching out to programs in more schools in more ways.

And the journey lives on …..

So, here’s to the ED BRYANT FOUNDATION  and  Superintendent Ed Bryant, who , even from the grave, is still contributing, still caring, still educating.   He knew so well that education is not just about schools and teachers and students.  But rather it’s about a quality of life for all who live in our community.  Education opens doors and ideas and encourages success.

May God in all His wisdom continue to bless the ED BRYANT FOUNDATION as it lives on………and on……….and on ……… through the generosity and legacy of the iconic educator,  Superintendent of Franklin County Schools,  Ed Bryant.

 

 

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