District Awards Grants to Schools in Polk County for Water Resources Education Projects

News Release

The Southwest Florida Water Management District (District) awarded $107,969 in grants to 58 educators within the District as part of the Splash! school grant program. The program provides up to $3,000 per school to enhance student knowledge of freshwater resources in grades K-12.

Splash! grants encourage hands-on student learning through STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) activities as well as engagement of the greater school community through awareness campaigns. Each school district allocates a portion of their annual youth education funding provided by the District to support the Splash! grants in their county.

The District awarded grants to the following schools/teachers in Polk County:


  • Berkley Elementary School - Tonya Ramos
  • Daniel Jenkins Academy - Melanie Tucker   
  • James W. Sikes Elementary School - Selina Fontaine         
  • Janie Howard Wilson Elementary School - Kim Griffiths      
  • Mulberry Senior High School - Jason La Mar           
  • Palmetto Elementary School - Delma Alvarez Porrata         
  • Polk Avenue Elementary School - Melissa Kelly      
  • South McKeel Academy - Cheryl Jacques    
  • Walter Caldwell Elementary School - Andrew Wessells       
  • Walter Caldwell Elementary School - Claudia Jarquin         


Grants are available to support water education programs and activities that are focused on water cycle basics, freshwater or estuarian ecosystems, water quality and water conservation. For more information, please visit the District’s website at WaterMatters.org/SchoolGrants.