Back-to-school boost: Duke Energy awards $3 million in education grants

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RALEIGH, N.C. - Students and teachers are getting a back-to-school boost through grants totaling $3 million to more than 50 schools and educational organizations in North Carolina.

The grants, from the Duke Energy Foundation, will enhance programs and initiatives focused on childhood reading proficiency, along with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

"“It is essential that our children are well-equipped with the basic skills needed to thrive in the classroom and in life,"” said David Fountain, Duke Energy’'s incoming North Carolina president. "“We’'re proud to support these organizations and their efforts to give our students the best chance for success –- from kindergarten through high school.”"

The Duke Energy Foundation awarded $865,000 to childhood literacy programs aimed at closing the achievement gap and ending the cycle of poverty that often separates low-income students from their peers.

The remaining $2.17 million supports STEM initiatives that provide real-world relevancy and engaging experiences to prepare students to enter math and engineering career fields.

Three recipients include NC New Schools/Breakthrough Learning, Communities In Schools of North Carolina, and Teach for America.

“"Duke Energy recognizes that a deep foundation in science and mathematics for all students is essential for our state'’s competitive edge,”" said Tony Habit, president of NC New Schools/Breakthrough Learning. "“We value our partnership with Duke Energy to support our teachers and provide them the resources they need to build their knowledge and skills in delivering high-quality STEM education. The generous investment by Duke Energy over the years represents a promise of a bright future for North Carolina students.”"

“"Communities In Schools of North Carolina has had a long-standing partnership with public schools all across our state to bring dynamic wraparound services into schools to drive strong student outcomes in attendance, behavior and coursework -– the best predictors of student success,"” said Dr. Eric Hall, president and CEO of Communities In Schools of North Carolina. “"Thanks to a grant from Duke Energy, CISNC is closing the summer reading gap for students living in poverty in Western North Carolina. Also, at the beginning of the school year, we will launch a reading program in Eastern North Carolina using technology to propel reading success in the elementary setting. Together, CISNC and Duke Energy are working to change the picture of education for students all across North Carolina."”

"“Duke Energy is helping to build the next generation of scientists, engineers, doctors, and innovators in our state,"” said Tim Hurley, Teach For America-Charlotte executive director. "“Thanks to their support, we'’ve been able to increase the number of STEM teachers we bring to North Carolina, thereby helping to address a serious gap in STEM educational opportunity, particularly in our rural communities. These talented educators spark imagination, curiosity and creativity in their students, all while preparing them to be the leaders on which our shared future depends."”

Duke Energy Foundation

The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to address the needs vital to the health of its communities. Annually, the Foundation funds more than $25 million in charitable grants, with a focus on education, environment, economic and workforce development, and community impact. Duke Energy has long been committed to supporting the communities where its customers and employees live and work, and will continue to build on this legacy. For more information, visit