PIKEVILLE, KY (January 25, 2021) — The Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce recently awarded $5,000 in education grants through its Excellence in Education Grant Program to four schools across the region – three Pike County schools and one school in Magoffin County.
Jordan Gibson, president and CEO of the Southeast Kentucky Chamber, said the Chamber’s Excellence in Education Grant Program is an important investment because it gives educators access to additional funding and resources that can be used for the betterment of the students they serve, noting that this grant cycle is particularly important due to the increased need for technology as teachers and students are finding ways to connect remotely during the covid-19 pandemic.
“We are grateful to give back to the educators who are going above and beyond to educate our children, especially this year when educators are in need of more technology to bridge the gap with their students,” said Gibson.
Dorton Elementary School (Pike County), Herald Whitaker Middle School (Magoffin County), Mullins Elementary School (Pike County), and Shelby Valley High School (Pike County) were among those to receive education grants from the Chamber.
Dorton Elementary Library Media Specialist Rebecca Bowling received $1,250 to provide students with eBooks to promote reading remotely. Bowling said that due to covid-19, students have been learning remotely and have been unable to check out books from the school’s library, noting that students have already read most of the digital books offered through the school.
Herald Whitaker Middle School Assistant Principal Jessica Prater received $1,250 for a 3D printer and supplies, which she hopes will give students the chance to “bring their creations to life” while promoting science, visual arts, and creativity.
Mullins Elementary Curriculum Coach and Title One and Building Assessment Coordinator Rachel Branham received $1,250 to purchase computers for students to use at home for remote learning, noting that the school has loaned out all available laptops with some students still in need.
Shelby Valley High Educator Zelda Hall received $1,250 for experiential advanced placement (AP) calculus tools and materials. Hall said students will be able to perform lab investigations to gain a better understanding of calculus concepts and will prepare them for future study in the field.
“The purchase of this equipment will not only impact the educational experience of this year’s students but will also impact the education of our students for many years to come,” said Hall.
The Chamber’s Excellence in Education Grant Program funds approximately $5,000 in educational projects annually in schools in the eight counties the Chamber serves: Floyd, Johnson, Knott, Lawrence, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, and Pike. Since its inception, more than $65,000 has been awarded through the education grant program. Each school can only receive one grant per grant cycle and must wait two grant cycles to receive another grant.
“Each year, the Chamber looks forward to presenting these education grants to the dedicated educators of this region,” said Gibson. “We are honored to be able to give back to those educators and the students who are the future of this region.”
For more information about the Chamber’s Excellence in Education Grant program, visit the Chamber online at www.sekchamber.com, or by phone at 606.432.5504.
The Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce is located at 178 College Street, Pikeville, and serves more than 500 businesses in eight Eastern Kentucky Counties: Floyd, Johnson, Knott, Lawrence, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, and Pike. The Chamber’s mission is to be a resource for businesses in Southeast Kentucky that is committed to improving the regional economy.