HELPING HANDS: Participating in the grant presentation were (left to right) Jay Sullivan of Beaufort County Community College; Barbara Tansey, Beaufort County Community College president; Brownie Futrell, a NC Beautiful member; Emily Pake, Beaufort County Early College High School principal; Ray McKeithan, public affairs and governmental affairs specialist with PotashCorp-Aurora; and Steve Vacendak, NC Beautiful executive director.

Archived Story

School gets $1,000 grant

Published 11:05pm Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Beaufort County Early College High School was presented a $1,000 Windows of Opportunity grant Monday.
The grant will be used to begin the first phase of a project that, when completed, will include a trail to help teach science.
“We are going to use the funds to build an outdoor classroom on the BCCC campus,” said principal Emily Pake. “It will be utilized to support the teaching of science. Right now, the grant is going to be used for the preliminary stages, like the creation of a trail to facilitate access to the outdoor classroom. This is not going to fund the entire project but it will get us started.”
The outdoor classroom will be available for other curriculum uses, Pake noted.
Late last year, NC Beautiful and PotashCorp-Aurora formed a partnership to provide $5,000 each year for a three-year period to NC Beautiful for its Windows of Opportunity grant program.
Steve Vacendak, executive director of NC Beautiful, explained the grant program.
“They are Windows of Opportunity grants that we give to teachers to put environmental projects on in their classrooms across the state of North Carolina — public or private schools, kindergarten through the 12th grade. The purpose of that is to assist teachers, to empower teachers to develop sensitivity and to care for the environment in their students,” Vacendak said.
“Obviously, the teachers need help, as much help as they can get. These grants are going to enable teachers throughout the region to better educate, not only on the environment but on issues that are important to students right now,” said Ray McKeithan, public-affairs and governmental-affairs manager at PotashCorp-Aurora, at the meeting where the partnership was announced. “We see this as an investment that’s going to pay dividends over decades.”
The money from PotashCorp-Aurora will go to students and teachers in five counties — Beaufort, Pamlico, Craven, Hyde and Carteret.
Each grant is for $1,000 for use from January through June. Grants are not limited to public schools.
NC Beautiful has been part of the state’s environmental preservation community for 40 years, supporting awareness, education and beautification efforts that affect North Carolina residents’ quality of life, according to its website. Today, it concentrates on hands-on and merit-based programs designed to empower state residents to preserve the natural beauty of North Carolina.
For more information about the grant program, visit www.ncbeautiful.org. Under the “Programs” heading on the menu on the left side of the page, click on “Windows of Opportunity.”

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