Officials with the Middlesboro Independent Education Foundation (MIEF) report the capital campaign fund drive to sustain the Project Lead The Way classroom is more than 80 percent complete.
PLTW is a state of the art eighth-grade science classroom at Middlesboro Middle School. It is a hands-on project based program divided into six independent nine-week study units.
Students envision, design and test their ideas with the same advanced modeling software used by companies like Sprint and Intel, according to Larry Grandey, the school district’s chief information officer.
Jay Shoffner, a member of the foundation, addressed the Middlesboro Independent Board of Education Tuesday night.
“The campaign has been greeted warmly, in fact, we would say enthusiastically by the community,” said Shoffner.
The foundation announced a list of more than 50 potential supporters have been identified. He said the foundation’s members have talked with more than half of those and have not walked away empty handed from a single person.
“There is no greater reward to think that the next great doctor, researcher or engineer could pass right through the PLTW classroom and this school system,” according to the foundation’s informational material.
“One hundred percent of those approached have agreed with the board and the foundation that emphasis on the math and sciences is not only needed, but critical to the community as a whole,” said Shoffner.
The foundation representatives expressed appreciation to Superintendent Dr. Rita Cook, the school board members, and middle school Principal Terry Bradley for making it possible for middle school science teacher Georgina Anderson to present her program on the PLTW classroom to the local civic clubs.
“We are in the process of scheduling those (speaking engagements) and should have them and the capital campaign completed by the end of October,” said Shoffner.
The foundation’s members will meet again next month for another update and to begin visioning for the next project.
Shoffner said the foundation is interested in support for after-school programming, the arts, academics support and athletics and athletic facilities.
Chase Smith is a staff writer for the Middlesboro Daily News. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.