SWVA school district awarded competitive tech grant for distance learning equipment

Published: Oct. 9, 2020 at 2:43 AM EDT
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LEE COUNTY, Va. (WJHL) – Lee County schools are receiving a boost in distance learning software through a United States Department of Agriculture Grant.

CBS affiliate WJHL reports the school system will receive a little more than $750,000 from the program, which is aimed at providing funds to support distance learning in rural areas.

The funds will go toward providing access to teleconferencing equipment and software to connect teachers to remote students during the COVID-19 pandemic. The project will also offer learning opportunities for in-person instruction by connecting classrooms with experts around the world, professional development speakers and mental health professionals.

During this pandemic, the need for distance learning equipment has grown astronomically, so the timing is perfect," Kristy Howard, administrator of technology and instruction, said. “Our teachers and students will have opportunities to connect with one another and engage with experts from around the world in ways we were never able to before. I cannot wait to see how our teachers utilize these new tools to engage students in Lee County.”

The USDA selected applicants for the FY2020 Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program , which is administered by the Rural Utilities Service. The COVID-19 pandemic made this year a competitive one with $115 million in requests coming in for $72 million in funds.

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