October 03, 2016
The Washington County Community Foundation (WCCF) recently awarded EIO Fund grants totaling $68,000 to Ringgold School District, Bethlehem-Center School District, Charleroi Area School District, McGuffey School District, Mon Valley Career & Technology Center, and Trinity Area School District.
Funding for the grants was provided by EQT Corporation, an integrated energy company, headquartered in Pittsburgh, and one of the leading natural gas producers in Washington County. The company is committed to meeting the country’s growing demand for clean-burning energy, while supporting programs that enrich the communities where EQT operates, helping them be even better places for community members to live and work.
EQT Local Government and Community Affairs Specialist Stephanie Paluda and WCCF Allocations & Programs Coordinator Milana Nick recently met with school representatives to present the grants and discuss the implementation of the programs.
McGuffey School District was awarded $10,000 to purchase equipment needed for students to complete data analysis, a germination program, and a Tilapia breeding program with each elementary school's greenhouse and aquaponic growing system. Students will use technology to monitor system levels and collect data for scientific analysis as they study sustainable agriculture.
Ringgold School District received a grant of $18,000 and plans to use the funds to incorporate the STEM-based Biomimicry program into the 8th grade science curriculum. Students will use Chromebooks, Google classroom, and Autodesk software to study environmental ecology and collaborate on solutions to resolve regional environmental concerns.
Bethlehem-Center School District will use its $10,000 grant to update the technology in the Middle School Media Center for grades 6-8. Students will engage in a variety of educational activities to complete research projects and create presentations with the use of iPads, video cameras, and green screen technology.
Charleroi Area School District received a $10,000 grant to use towards the purchase of a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) router for the district's Digital Maker Lab. This CNC equipment will allow students to transform their ideas using CAD/CAM technology and produce 3-D products which can be held, tested, measured, and modified to solve real-world problems.
The Mon Valley Career & Technology Center received a $10,000 grant to develop a STEM related career exploration program to provide students exposure to a wide range of career pathways for high priority occupations at a younger age. As a culminating activity, students will access the Mon Valley CTC to create and fabricate products based on their unit of study.
Trinity Area School District plans to use its $10,000 grant to purchase a variety of robotics and drones with varying levels of design, programming, and customization for use by students in grades 5 through 12.
"Through the Commonwealth's Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) Program, EQT has been proud to support Washington County schools as they enhance learning techniques in the classroom, especially those in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) disciplines,” Paluda said. “EQT is committed to partnering with programs that help students effectively prepare to compete in the workforce, have greater choices, and make positive social and economic contributions to their communities."
Thanks to the generous support of corporate sponsors, the WCCF has cumulatively awarded more than $840,000 in EIO Fund grants to innovative programs at local public schools across the county.
Local businesses who are interested in learning how they may receive tax credits of 75% to 100% for qualifying contributions to the WCCF are invited to attend a seminar, “Control Your Tax Destiny” being held on November 15, 2016 at 11:30 a.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn at Southpointe. The seminar is most appropriate for corporate human resource, tax, and public relations professionals, accountants, attorneys, bank professionals, entrepreneurs, school superintendents and business managers. For more information, please visit www.wccf.net/events or contact the Foundation at 724-222-6330