Artistic Vision Comes to Life: Thanks to PowerUP Jax


PowerUP Jax is an initiative of the Jacksonville Public Education Fund. It’s a $500 competitive grant to fund innovative projects to raise student achievement. Lead sponsor Community First Cares Foundation believes in seeding innovation and rewarding creativity among public school teachers — so they’re funding 20 projects!

We're happy to share a guest post from Terry Woodlief of Central Riverside Elementary on how PowerUP Jax has made a difference for her students. - Ale'ta Turner

Teachers, are you thinking of a terrific project for your class — one that impacts students, their families and your school’s community? You have the idea, the volunteers, you know where to get the materials but all you need is the money to bring your vision to life. PowerUP Jax can help Duval County public school teachers like you get the funding you need to do creative projects in your classroom – just like it did for mine.  I am so fortunate to have been awarded funding twice for projects supporting arts education at Central Riverside Elementary School.  

Last year, I submitted a proposal to purchase frames to display student artwork in the public areas of my school, including the front office, the administration suite and hallways. Every student deserves their work to be showcased to feel accomplished in their creative endeavors. I was awarded funding to purchase a dozen interchangeable frames that made it easy to rotate the artwork giving more students the opportunity to be a part of the student gallery.

This year, I had a bigger project in mind and again, submitted a proposal to PowerUP Jax for funding to make my idea come to life.

My school, Central Riverside Elementary, is located in the historic Riverside section of Jacksonville.  We are preparing for our 100th birthday celebration. I plan to direct a project that will commemorate this important milestone in our schools history and reflect the commitment and spirit of CRES’s Class of 2016.  Each 5th grade student will create by hand a glazed tile, in their own likeness, to be permanently installed in our school’s hallways as a tribute to a century of learning as well as showcase the arts as an integral part of our school’s curriculum.  

The self-portrait tile project will be unveiled at our school’s 100th Birthday Celebration in May 2016, and featured at the The CRES Art Walk, a school-wide art exhibit and concert attracting CRES families, friends and community members. This hands-on project will not only impact the members of the graduating Class of 2016, but will be shared with every student who walks the halls of Central Riverside Elementary School for years to come. Because the tiles are a permanent installation, our students will be able to return to the school to reminisce about their years as students at Central Riverside Elementary School. This project will be their legacy.

Through my PowerUP Jax $500 innovation grant administered by Jacksonville Public Education Fund and provided by PowerUP Jax’s lead sponsor, Community First Credit Union, this impactful project would not have been possible.

So, keep dreaming.  Imagine all the possibilities to create meaningful, hands-on experiences for your students and know that the Jacksonville Public Education Fund and Community First Credit Union are there, offering support and funding for your vision.

Applications are currently being accepted for the PowerUP Jax spring cycle by January 22. Apply today! 



Terry Woodlief,

Visual Arts Teacher

Central Riverside Elementary





of public schools in Duval County earned an "A," "B," or "C" in 2021-2022.