Toyota presents $5 million check to CREATE Foundation


Toyota Wellspring Education Fund committee announces grant recipients

This past week Toyota officials presented $5 million to CREATE Foundation, the fourth annual installment of Toyota’s pledge of $50 million to enhance public education.
In 2007, Toyota committed to donate $50 million over a 10-year period to enhance public education in Lee, Pontotoc and Union counties. The Toyota gift is being made to an endowment fund at the CREATE Foundation, allowing the gift to benefit K-12 students in the three counties both now and in the future. Subsequently CREATE Foundation established a grant committee to provide recommendations on the use of the gift. Payable over a 10-year period, the goal of the gift is to create a perpetual fund to enhance education for students in the eight school districts in Lee, Pontotoc and Union counties.
Pontotoc School students were in attendance today to represent more than 26,000 students in the eight school districts this year that will be the beneficiaries of these programs.

CREATE also announced today that the Toyota education fund is renamed the Toyota Wellspring Education Fund, referring to the site where the Toyota facility was built as well as to Toyota’s intent to supply a perpetual source of funds for educating our area’s students.
The Toyota Wellspring Education Fund’s grant program was announced in July. “We are pleased to help impact learning in North Mississippi with these grants,” commented Doug Formby, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi Vice President and Committee member. “Because providing quality education through innovative programs is so important, these grants will help level the playing field for our students when it comes to competing with other areas. Toyota is proud to be part of their success.”
Grants were awarded today to area schools to fund education enhancements. The purpose of this round of grants was to provide students with opportunities that the school districts would not be able to fund with their normal operating budgets.
Representatives of the eight school districts in Pontotoc, Union and Lee counties were on hand to accept $1 million from the Toyota Wellspring Education Fund.
Grants awarded to the school districts are as follows:

Pontotoc City Schools
$120,000 for placing iPad devices in all elementary and high school classes, along with smartboard response devices for each student.

Pontotoc County Schools
$162,000 for updating computers and adding computer labs and mobile carts for classrooms.

Union County School District
$143,000 to upgrade network infrastructure, increasing speed and allowing students and teachers to utilize wireless devices on all campuses.

New Albany School District
$113,000 for one-to-one computer initiative for 3rd-5th grade students.

Baldwyn School District
$24,000 to upgrade security and infrastructure to allow students to safely integrate their own devices with those of the schools

Lee County Schools
$204,000 to upgrade technology/infrastructure and to supplement devices on all 14 campuses.

Nettleton School District
$38,000 for a literary interventionist to enhance the tutoring program at the Student Resource Center and fund smartboards and response devices at Nettleton High School.

Tupelo School District
$203,000 for an additional classroom at the Early Childhood Education Center, funding for certified teachers to expand a tutoring program for 3rd-6th graders, and Advanced Placement and Dual Enrollment course fee supplements to increase number of students participating in these programs.