Beaufort County Distance Learning Fund up and running

in Education by

From staff reports

Many Beaufort County students have not been able to return to the classroom because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

With a lack of access to internet across the region, distance learning sites are critical in meeting the educational needs of students. The Beaufort County Distance Learning Fund was created to supportnonprofits in Beaufort County who are implementing and operating programs to assist with distance learning for students within the county.

The fund will support nonprofit organizations who are currently offering distance-learning services as well as those which would like to begin offering a distance-learning component.

Organizations who meet the following criteria are eligible to apply:

Must be a nonprofit, recognized as a 501(c)(3) entity or qualified house of worship.

Must be operating services in Beaufort County serving Beaufort County students.

Must be able to demonstrate (in writing) the ability to provide services and an outline of how the funds will be spent (new and existing programs are eligible to apply).

Agree to provide a written report once funds are expensed or six months after receipt of the grant — whichever comes first.

Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis, and funds will be available on a first-come, first served basis. Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

Grant awards will not exceed 10 percent of an organizational budget or $25,000 — whichever is less.

“In Beaufort County, many families and working parents will find it difficult and challenging to support their child’s remote and virtual learning needs because of lack of equipment, the absence of Internet service and the demands of work,” said Larry McElynn, a member of Beaufort County Council and Chairman of the Community Services Committee. “Luckily for us, there are community nonprofits that are able to complement the school district’s curriculum with youth development professionals who can offer children educational enrichment, socialization, and personal growth with virtual curriculum support and nationally recognized enrichment programs.

The Beaufort County Distance Learning Fund is seeded with $100,000 from Beaufort County, with additional dollars to be provided once the first round of funding is awarded. The Fund will help support nonprofit organizations in Beaufort County who are currently offering distance learning services, as well as those who would like to begin offering distance learning components.

“We know that teachers and families are more challenged than ever to keep students engaged in learning outside of the classroom,” said Veronica Hemmingway, Director of the Southern Lowcountry for Coastal Community Foundation. “The programs we aim to support with the Beaufort County Distance Learning Fund will bring much-needed enhancements to the at-home learning experience for many households, and we’re grateful that Beaufort County committed the resources to make this happen.

To apply for funding, visit https://bit.ly/2MWCgz4. For more information, contact Veronica Hemmingway at veronica@coastalcommunityfoundation.org or 854-222-3468.