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Jackson County organizations awarded grants from Google

SCOTTSBORO — Technology giant Google has awarded $210,000 in grants to five Jackson County organizations.

The new funding is to support projects which provide technological equipment to facilitate early STEM-focused learning, expand higher ed dual-enrollment opportunities, implement programs aimed at increasing literacy skills, and distribute meals to food-insecure schoolchildren.

“At Google, we have always supported fostering individuals’ abilities to learn in the ever-evolving tech world and to thrive in the communities around them,” said Google’s Alabama Data Center Facility Manager Thomas Gamble. “We are proud to support these wonderful organizations and their respective initiatives that align with who we are as a company.”

Leaders who represent the area receiving the funding, spoke about the significance of Google’s efforts.

“Google has positively impacted north Alabama and specifically Jackson County for many years. The company’s passion for enhancing STEM-based initiatives for our students and improving the lives of the communities it supports has always been evident,” said State Sen. Steve Livingston. “We are thankful for these generous grants and for the ongoing commitment to our state and its people.”

Jackson County Commission Chairman Bill Nance echoed Livingston’s sentiments.

“We are appreciative of the work Google has done and continues to do in Jackson County for students and nonprofits alike,” Nance said. “We look forward to the advancements our schools and educational institutions will experience moving forward thanks to its generous support.”

Those awarded the grants are:

  • Jackson County School District —  Across the school system, the grant will allow the 21st Century Classroom Project to thrive through ViewSonic 75″ Smart Interactive Touch Panels — along with teacher training — to bring enhanced, active STEM learning to life. For middle school-specific Makerspaces classes, the grant will fund kits meant to spark student interest in STEM careers and technologies through drone coding competitions, all while providing hands-on opportunities that promote teamwork, problem-solving and innovation.
  • Northeast Alabama Community College: Northeast Alabama Community College will implement an Expanded Dual Enrollment outreach program by building two mobile labs at local high schools. Through these, Google grant funding will enable the delivery of dual enrollment courses to area schools with otherwise limited access to career technical coursework — all while promoting career pathways, preparing students for entry into the workforce and promoting post-secondary technical training that aligns with the needs of local data centers and other local industries.
  • Scottsboro Public LibraryGoogle’s grant will enable installation of a modern computer network that provides reliable gigabit service and a modern AV system for “Unlocking Potential,” a family-driven, 12-month literacy program aimed to increase literacy skills for school-aged children. The grant will also be used to purchase programming materials related to STEM and literacy skills.
  • Jackson County Twenty First Century Council IMPACT Learning Center: IMPACT Learning Center will utilize the Google grant for continued programs and upgraded technology that fosters enhanced literacy skills and learning for Scottsboro students.
  • Nourish One Child: The Google grant will enable Nourish One Child — Nourish One Child, a Scottsboro City School program providing nutritious food items to food-insecure children — to continue its efforts to deliver food items to the homes of Scottsboro’s students during weekends, holidays, summertime and more.

Google has called Alabama home since 2015 when it announced plans to construct a data center in Bridgeport. Since that time, it has continuously provided financial support to local organizations, educational systems and nonprofits both locally and throughout the state.

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