Jeff Milby, The Progress-Index
PETERSBURG — Local school divisions working to overcome the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic will soon be receiving financial help from a local non-profit.
The Cameron Foundation announced that it will be granting up to $350,000 to local school divisions in need of funds to help overcome the difficulties of educating students during the COVID-19 pandemic, the foundation announced on Thursday, September 3.
The Petersburg, Hopewell, Colonial Heights, Dinwiddie, Prince George, Sussex and southern Chesterfield school divisions will be eligible for a grant of $50,000 each. Those funds are meant to be used to overcome issues caused by the pandemic, funding technology for virtual classes, personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies and training, among other goals.
“When COVID-19 began causing disruptions in our local school systems, our foundation quickly stepped forward to assist these divisions in addressing technological gaps during their shift to online instruction,” Cameron Foundation Board Chair Pam Martin Comstock said in a press release. “Now, as the pandemic persists and these school systems must begin the new school year, we recognize the range of needs that they are once again facing."
The grants are designed to support both virtual and hybrid return to school plans. Currently, Colonial Heights and Prince George are planning to open schools back up to students, while Petersburg, Hopewell, Dinwiddie and Chesterfield are beginning the school year virtually.
In the spring, when the pandemic abruptly forced school divisions to close their doors to students, the Cameron Foundation awarded $314,355 in technology grants to the school divisions, allowing for 1,500 students to take part in virtual classes, the foundation claims.
Those school divisions will need to apply for the grant no later than September 30. School begins for all local school divisions on September 8.