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CTE program wins $129,00 in state grants

Two grants valued together at $129,000 will bring new equipment, supplies and teaching aids to the Career and Technical Education program that serves about 2,000 students in Lenoir County Public Schools.

 Male high school student, shown in silhouette, lays brick in masonry class. The Homebuilding Programs grant for $39,975 will benefit carpentry and masonry students at Kinston, North Lenoir and South Lenoir high schools. LCPS was one of 10 school districts in the state awarded this grant, which will pay for upgraded equipment, lumber and other supplies.

“It’s another way to help our teachers and students,” Amy Jones, director of high school education and CTE, said of the grant award. “We were going to purchase these items anyway, but this accelerates the timeline, which is very helpful.”

The $89,300 won through the CTE Modernization and Expansion Program Awards will provide CTE teachers in middle and high schools with an online learning platform that enriches instruction through planning assistance, suggested activities and interactive assessments. Thirty-five school districts won awards valued at nearly $2 million in this funding cycle.

“There will be curriculum for every pathway that we offer,” Jones said. “That will allow our teachers to utilize these curriculum resources so they can focus more of their time on the hands-on projects and the things they would do in the lab.”

CTE teachers are expected to have access to this online learning platform this semester.

Both grants were awarded by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction with funds earmarked by the N.C. General Assembly.

Announcement of the grant awards comes just as LCPS prepares to observe CTE Month, a national celebration of the value and achievements of CTE programs across the country that kicks off Feb. 1.

In a program that can lead to certification in various trades, to OSHA 10 credentials, to apprenticeships and to associate degrees through Lenoir Community College, LCPS offers 23 specific “pathways” in 10 general areas of instruction, from agriculture to business management to health sciences to information technology.

Currently, CTE classes reach 1,950 individual students. That number balloons to 3,558 students when factoring in those enrolled in multiple CTE classes.