Schools Receive Big Grant
A private foundation will invest more than $2 million in the Moore County school system to help improve student achievement.
After months of exploring partnerships with a handful of North Carolina school systems, the Mebane Foundation has awarded a grant to fund an innovative teacher empowerment and support model designed to boost student achievement in all grade levels and across the curriculum.
“We are extremely excited about this generous investment of funds by the Mebane Foundation,” said Dr. Susan Purser, superintendent of the school system. “The Foundation’s decision to invest in our school system is a celebration of our future and a validation of the foundational work that has been established by our teachers, administrators and other staff through our vision of Growing to Greatness.
“They have seen something special here that is worth nurturing and growing, and, as a result, our students, teachers and the community, as a whole, will reap the benefits.”
Mebane Foundation’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Infusion model features intensive use of computer technology and employs classroom “cells” composed of master, beginning and student teachers who are joined by curriculum and technology experts in professional learning and support communities.
The model is based on state-of-the-art research and best practices, which consistently demonstrate that the most effective way to boost student achievement is through intensive teacher development, school officials said.
The Foundation and school system plan to launch the three-year program next fall. Between now and then, teachers, administrators and members of the community will work with the Mebane Foundation to develop a plan that will ensure optimum benefit to teachers and students when the program begins.
“This is an exciting time for our Foundation and the Moore County Schools,” said Foundation President Larry Colbourne. “We feel Moore County and its school system are the right fit for this innovative professional and career preparation model. With pressure on our teachers to meet a new set of core standards, this model comes at a time when they need more individualized support, especially with respect to their own professional development.
“We believe supporting teachers in the classroom will produce a more robust learning environment for our students and ultimately give them a greater opportunity to succeed in life.”
When the program is fully implemented, STEM Infusion will feature intensive use of computer technology under the supervision of highly trained teachers.
School officials said the fact that 65 percent of today’s jobs require science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills, and that 16 of the 30 fastest-growing careers demand substantial math and science education, underscores the importance of this program.
The Mebane Foundation has hired Dr. Linda Bost to be its lead consultant to work with teachers and administrators in the school system to plan and implement the program. A former associate superintendent with the Davie County school system, she was instrumental in designing and implementing the STEM Infusion model there. She has already met with senior staff members in Moore County to put the next steps in place.
Mebane Foundation, headquartered in Mocksville, is committed to ensuring that children in North Carolina receive top-tier, cutting-edge education. Founded in 1992 by North Carolina businessman and philanthropist Allen Mebane, the Foundation has invested millions of dollars in initiatives like this one in Moore County.
Contact David Sinclair at email@example.com.
More like this story