- Lenoir County Public Schools
South Lenoir ag program wins $3,000 AgCarolina grant
South Lenoir High School will use a $3,000 grant award from AgCarolina Farm Credit to help refurnish the workshop where students learn welding, metalworking and other skills.
The grant funds will go toward an improved ventilation system, according to ag mechanics teacher Joshua Singleton, who wrote and won the grant. Other funds for general improvements will come from LCPS’s Career and Technical Education program, which includes all agriculture courses.
“We are so grateful to AgCarolina Farm Credit for all that they offer our community and future communities for eastern North Carolina in an array of ways. The opportunities this grant provides for Mr. Singleton to help expand his ag program in the CTE department is exceptional. Most importantly, the investment is placed in our students,” South Lenoir High principal Elizabeth Pierce said.
Singleton said a new ventilation system will provide an extra measure of safety in the workshop and allow students to spend more time practicing the hands-on skills that are at the heart of the agriculture education curriculum.
“The grant funds that were provided by AgCarolina Farm Credit will be used to equip students with those skills allowing them to move into specific career pathways that they can utilize in their everyday life and in careers that include mechanics, manufacturing and fabrication,” Singleton said. “We cannot thank AgCarolina enough for supporting the agriculture education program at South Lenoir.”
The $3,000 granted South Lenoir is part of $33,850 in competitive grants this month awarded by AgCarolina Farm Credit to 14 organizations. Grants of up to $5,000 each were awarded in four areas: education, environment, technology or quality of rural life.
The grant awarded Singleton and South Lenoir is the latest of a string of grant wins for the school district. So far this school year, LCPS, its schools and teachers have won more than $3.1 million in grant awards, a record-setting effort that has drawn praise from Superintendent Brent Williams.
“We’re applying for every grant that we can. We’re leaving no stone unturned on behalf of our kids,” he said at the January meeting of the Lenoir County Board of Education. “We’ve had a record-setting semester for grants received. That would be commendable for our staff members in any year, but when you factor in the Covid-19 pandemic and the limitations and restrictions placed on all us by that, these grant awards are particularly noteworthy.
“I want to commend all our staff members who are working so hard to write those grants,” the superintendent said. “Their efforts matter a great deal and are making a significant difference.”
Principal Pierce agrees.
“LCPS is blessed to have teachers like Mr. Singleton that advocate for our students,” she said. “He works hard to overcome obstacles, more prevalent now than ever before, to give all of our students the skills necessary to enter the next stage of their academic career, the job force or whatever path they choose.”
AgCarolina Farm Credit is a member owned financial cooperative with locations throughout eastern North Carolina. AgCarolina has over $1.5 billion in loans and commitments outstanding to over 3,300 North Carolina farmers, agribusiness owners, and rural residents. Loans are made to finance land, homes, and farms and so much more. The grant program is used to help recipients carry out programs specifically benefiting farmers, rural residents and youth in eastern North Carolina.
(Top) Students in Joshua Singleton's ag mechanics class at South Lenoir High School practice their welding skills.
South Lenoir High School teacher Joshua Singleton and Brody Lynch, a freshman in the agriculture education curriculum, sort tools in ag mechanics class. A $3,000 grant awarded Singleton by AgCarolina Farm Credit will help refurbish the workshop where Brody and fellow students get hands-on practice in skills like welding and metalworking.