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Piedmont Natural Gas Awards $5,000 for Student Books

Dr. Roneca Wallace, principal at Graham A. Barden Elementary, and Debra Hurst, principal at W.J. Gurganus Elementary receiving their awarding from PIE past president, Don Brinkley
L – R: Dr. Roneca Wallace, principal at Graham A. Barden Elementary, and Debra Hurst, principal at W.J. Gurganus Elementary receiving their awarding from PIE past president, Don Brinkley

Piedmont Natural Gas and Craven Partners In Education announced a $5,000 investment from the Duke Energy Foundation. The funds will be used to purchase books for Graham A. Barden Elementary and W.J. Gurganus Elementary located in Havelock, North Carolina.

Darlene Brown, executive director of Partners In Education, explains, “To monitor our students’ reading growth, students and teachers use Lexia Learning. Incorporating this blended learning program, students work at their own pace on individual learning paths. When our students successfully reach their reading benchmarks, or Level Up, they get to select a book from our Piedmont Natural Gas “Reading is Our Superpower” Library for their home libraries.”

“Piedmont Natural Gas and Duke Energy know that providing the means for children to decide which books they want to read at home and keep for their own will help students build healthy habits of life-long reading,” said Tammy Thurman, government and community relations manager at Piedmont Natural Gas. “This project allows students to select a book to carry home and share with their families. Our vision is that this grant will be a catalyst for improving literacy for all our students and the program will be a model for other schools.”

PIE Vice President Jason Jones explained, “PIE recognizes that literacy is the foundation for all subjects. If we do not have a strong base in language arts, it will be challenging for our students to succeed in other subjects.”

The check was presented at the December Principals meeting to the principals of the schools, Dr. Roneca Wallace at Graham A. Barden Elementary and Debra Hurst at W.J. Gurganus Elementary.

By Darlene Brown, Craven Partners In Education