By Bonnie L. Jackson
Hazlehurst High School is experiencing an overflow of great news. On Thursday, Lowe’s awarded the high school a major grant. On the heels of that great news, the school received a successful rating from Mississippi Department of Education on Friday.
Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation (LCEF) formally awarded Hazlehurst High School a $157,200 Lowe’s Toolbox for Education® grant.
According to Dr. Pearl McDonald, Job Specialist for Jobs for Mississippi Graduates, Inc. Program (JMG) at Hazlehurst High School, “This grant is the result of months of hard work and perserverance. Also, it is a perfect example of the benefits that come from having JMG in the school.”
Grant Writing Process
“Mr. Joseph Reynolds, Store Manager for the Lowe’s located in West Jackson, began working with me last year on the first beautification project. Lowe’s helped create a picnic area for our students so that they could have lunch outside during good weather. The students helped plant the flowers Lowe’s provided to help beautify the area,” McDonald stated.
The Jobs for Mississippi Graduates’ Beautification/Renovation Project that netted $157, 200 was a collaboration between McDonald and Reynolds
“There is a lot of need in the community. This particular project resonated with the mission of the LCEF. The age of the school, the need for modernization; and the impact it will have on the students made it a perfect match.,” District Manager Rick Cook informed the audience.
“Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation was founded in 1957. Last year it gave away $30 million to communities to ensure a better learning environment for tomorrow’s leaders,” stated Cook.
Lowe’s Toolbox for Education provides the financial tools to improve schools throughout the United States. Lowe’s signature education grant program has donated $26 million to 6,000 K-12 public schools since 2006, benefitting more than 3 million schoolchildren.
“The grant money will fund much needed updates including installing an automated fire alarm system, replacing doors and wiring, updating the intercom system as well as school technology, replacing windows, purchasing heating and air conditioning units, painting the entire school, replacing damaged ceiling tiles, resurfacing school floors and updating the weight room’s ceilings and floors,” explained Reynolds.
Community Support joins Lowe’s Heroes
“Lowe’s is committed to recognizing and supporting efforts that enrich the lives of our neighbors and customers,” said Marshall Croom, chairman of LCEF.
“By supporting schools like Hazlehurst High School, we believe we are contributing to a cause that’s important to our customers and employees and helping build a stronger foundation for the children who will be tomorrow’s employees, homeowners and community leaders.”
Representative Gregory Holloway, Mayor Henry C. Banks, three aldermen, and businessman George Harris accompanied parents and students to the award ceremony.
“JMG offers a comprehensive set of services in 49 high schools and 4 middle schools across the State of Mississippi,” stated Dr. Joe A. Haynes, Executive Director.
“The JMG services includes 12 months follow-up after the youth leaves high school to ensure his or her successful transition,” stated Haynes.
The call for community volunteerism will come after the principal parties have met to determine which improvements they will tackle first.
Clearly, this is a great opportunity for the community to show its support for the school.
By Bonnie L. Jackson