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Estill County School District awarded $40,000 grant

The Estill County School District has been awarded a $40,000 grant by the Steele-Reese Foundation to support its “Engineer’s Power UP!” Initiative program.

The Steele-Reese Foundation grant will provide funds for the purchase of HP Chromebooks for 8th grade transitional students and will give them the advantage of digital technology at school and home.

The digital divide is increasing in rural school districts and the Estill County School District is no exception to the divide. Estill County school staff supports students in   self-directed learning and know technology actually improves learning and ultimately makes students eager to learn. Many educators are eager to find ways to use technology in their classrooms but rural budgets often play a significant role in hindering technology in the classroom.

“The Steele-Reese Foundation grant awarding is an investment in personalized learning and student achievement,” said Superintendent Jeff Saylor.” This coincides with the mission and vision of the Estill County School District that we provide new and powerful ways to integrate technology into the lives of our students and families.”

"The trustees at the Steele-Reese Foundation were very happy to award a grant to the Estill County Middle School for its one-to-one laptop initiative at the Foundation's annual board meeting in New York," said Judy Owens, Appalachian Director of the Foundation. Mrs. Owens, an eastern Kentucky native now living in Lexington, said the trustees were impressed by the investment of the local board of education in technology upgrades at the school. The Estill Middle grant was one of only four awarded in the 2019 funding cycle to an Appalachian Kentucky middle school.

The Steele-Reese Foundation is a charitable trust committed to supporting rural communities and the tax-exempt entities that serve them in Idaho, Montana, in the Native nations that share the geography, and in Appalachian Kentucky. Since its inception, the Foundation has maintained a focus on the unique challenges of rural living and on helping people build healthy, successful, and sustainable communities.

Eleanor Steele Reese, daughter of Charles Steele – a banker, lawyer, and business associate of J.P. Morgan – created The Steele-Reese Foundation in 1955. The Foundation's name honors Eleanor's family as well as the family of her husband, Emmet Reese, who grew up in the Appalachian foothills community of East Bernstadt, Kentucky.

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