Krystal, famous for its iconic square hamburgers, announced that The Krystal Foundation awarded its first grants to help six different schools throughout the brand’s footprint to support core and extra-curricular programs. The Foundation is awarding $18,540 in grant money in order to fund school programs.
Operating under the belief that “Squaring is Caring,” The Krystal Foundation was established in 2016 to serve communities in the 11 states where Krystal operates by establishing grants for funding of educational enrichment programs such as STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) education, music, culinary instruction and sports programs.
On March 1, the Foundation opened its first grant window to schools meeting the foundation’s mission. After the grant application window closed on April 1, the Foundation selected six schools for grants ranging in amounts from $2,500 to $3,500. The winning schools include:
Leroy Massey Elementary School in LaFayette, Georgia, to fund iPads and Sphero robots to assist students in applying hands-on coding skills.
Lanier Elementary School in Tampa, Florida, to create math, arts, music, culinary, science, gardening and technology leadership clubs.
Central School, Huntsville, Alabama, to fund virtual reality kits that will help students enhance their knowledge of science, history, geography, literature, technology, engineering and career exploration.
Ingram Pye Elementary School, Macon, Georgia, to fund various after-school programs in an effort to increase school attendance, decrease behavior incidents, and increase proficiency in reading, math and science.
Mimosa Elementary School, Roswell, Georgia, for the creation of a science lab that will help students apply creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication skills to solve problems.
Brainerd High School, Chattanooga, Tennessee, in support of the school’s football program which aims to build and sustain an athletic program that increases graduation rates through the improvement of overall academic performance by keeping players accountable for grades and life choices.
“We are proud to play a role in helping schools ‘square-up’ support by balancing core requirements with enrichment programs that create well-rounded future leaders,” says Jason Abelkop, president of The Krystal Foundation and Chief Marketing Office for The Krystal Company. “Each of these six schools exemplifies the values set forth by The Krystal Foundation.”
The Krystal Foundation will solicit applications three times throughout the year – spring, fall, and winter. There is no limit to how many recipients The Krystal Foundation will choose. The second application window opens on September 1.
“We’ve been involved in our neighborhoods for the last 85 years and creating The Krystal Foundation is an exciting way to give back to our guests,” says Abelkop. “We believe in showing gratitude to the communities that have supported us for so many years.”
Here are seven questions with Krystal about the program.
1. What qualities were you looking for when selecting a grant?
The Krystal Foundation is all about giving back to the Krystal communities and those which are aligned with our core mission. We at The Krystal Foundation are dedicated to strengthening, enhancing and enriching our neighborhood schools through programs that fall within our focus areas of Music, STEAM, Culinary Arts, and Sports.
2. What does it mean to you to be able to donate $18,540 to six schools?
We are proud and honored to play a role in helping these schools in our communities to provide better educational and enrichment opportunities. It’s exciting to see The Krystal Foundation providing grants to schools so quickly and having an immediate impact considering we just launched last fall.
3. When is your second grant window?
Our second window will open September 1 and will be open for one month, closing on October 1. We will announce the second round of winners in November. One thing to remember is that if you applied in the first round, the application is still live and the foundation will review all applications again.
4. What did you hope to succeed when picking the first recipients of The Krystal Foundation? When picking the first recipients we wanted to make a real impact on our neighborhood schools and communities. There were so many deserving schools and it was exciting to see how we could direct the funds across a variety of areas from after school STEM clubs, new technology for science labs with virtual reality programs to helping support the football program.
5. What advice can you give the next round of applicants?
Don’t forget to elaborate on the WHY and the impact it will have on your school. Applicants do a great job on providing lesson plans and the details regarding their programs but it’s also important for the foundation to understand why they believe it’s important for their school and how we can help make a difference.
6. How did you narrow down the process?
If it didn’t align with our core focus areas—STEAM, music, culinary and sports then it did not meet our requirements. It was also important that the money help fund initiatives that we believe will assist in enhancing a school's ability to impact the students academically, creatively, promote problem-solving and improve communication skills for these future leaders.
7. Where are the schools that are receiving the grant?
It was important that to us to assist multiple schools across our footprint. Within this first group of grant winners, we have schools in Atlanta, Chattanooga, Macon, Huntsville and Tampa.