Duke Energy is continuing its commitment to students and teachers with a more than $2.7 million investment in 52 innovative education programs and initiatives across North Carolina.
The 2016 grants, from the Duke Energy Foundation, will enhance educational programs focused on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and childhood reading proficiency – critical building blocks for student success from kindergarten through their professional careers.
"It is essential that next-generation employees have a strong educational foundation that prepares them for the workforce," said David Fountain, Duke Energy's North Carolina president. "Our investments in students and STEM initiatives strengthen the pipeline of highly skilled workers that will lead us to an even smarter future in North Carolina."
Examples of this year's grant recipients include:
- Say Yes to Education Guilford, Guilford County, to support rigorous education activity within the Guilford County Schools' system and provide tutoring, mentoring, health and social services, after school programming and other services for families and students.
"Say Yes Guilford and Duke Energy share a common interest in enhancing Guilford County's educational opportunities to develop a workforce that is prepared to lead our community into the future," said Say Yes Guilford Executive Director Mary Vigue. "We consider ourselves fortunate to be a recipient of this Duke Energy Foundation education grant. We look forward to a continued partnership with Duke Energy and other like-minded organizations who consider education to be key in building tomorrow's communities."
- Buncombe County Schools, Buncombe County, to establish STEM labs in several primary, elementary and intermediate schools.
"STEM education is unique because of its fundamental premise of integrating student collaboration and communication into thoughtful, engaging learning environments," said BCS Superintendent Dr. Tony Baldwin. "We are incredibly grateful for Duke Energy's support, which helps Buncombe County Schools expand our ability to provide the latest STEM education to more students earlier. This paves the way for students to more fully develop the necessary creative thinking and problem-solving skills essential for any career path they may choose."
- Masonboro.org, New Hanover County, to provide hands-on environmental education to fifth grade students in New Hanover County.
"Masonboro.org is thrilled that Duke Energy is helping again this year to support our environmental education initiatives," said Masonboro.org President and Executive Director Richard Johnson. "Because of this grant, more than 1,200 New Hanover County students will get a chance to visit Masonboro Island Reserve and learn how important its ecosystem is to everyone in North Carolina."
- NC FIRST Robotics, statewide, to engage underserved students in robotics competitions by working with adult mentors and coaches.
"By helping to inspire the next generation of engineers, innovators and STEM leaders, Duke Energy is on the forefront of corporate leaders working to secure our future," said Marie Hopper, executive director of FIRST North Carolina. "We are grateful for Duke Energy's support in enabling us to deliver life-changing experiences through robotics in North Carolina."
- Boys and Girls Clubs of Wake County, to support Project Learn, which reinforces knowledge and skills learned at school through homework help and learning activities.
"Boys & Girls Clubs is proud to partner with Duke Energy to help ensure the academic success of our 5,000 Members in Wake County. Duke Energy provides critical funds to support afterschool tutoring, STEM education and academic intervention to those who need it the most," said Ralph E. Capps, president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Wake County. "With Duke Energy's support, Boys & Girls Clubs is able to help our Members advance to the next grade level and graduate with a plan for the future."
- International House, Charlotte, to fund early childhood literacy programming for students from kindergarten through third grade.
"The Rising Readers program fills a real need in Charlotte where there are more than 8,000 English-language learners in CMS elementary schools. Without foundational literacy skills, students start at a disadvantage no matter the subject and have a difficult time catching up to their peers," said Nate Evans, executive director of International House. "Duke Energy is a long-time supporter of the Rising Readers program and has helped it grow from 36 students when it began in 2010 to more than 400 last year. International House is proud to partner with Duke Energy on this program."
Click here for a full list of 2016 Duke Energy Foundation North Carolina education grant recipients.