Hardy Telecommunications has been awarded a $2,000 grant to support public and community outreach for East Hardy High School.
Derek Barr, Hardy’s director of customer service and sales, marketing and human resources, applied for the grant through The Education Alliance, which oversees business/school partnerships throughout West Virginia. The award was one of 10 distributed statewide. Hardy is a business partner with East Hardy High School.
“School funding is always tight, and often there isn’t enough money or resources for schools to spread the word in their communities,” Derek said. “I’m happy to be able to help EHHS with this grant.”
The Public Engagement Community Grant was awarded with the intent for schools to “engage their communities in efforts to support public education.” Derek has been working with EHHS Principal Jennifer Strawderman to identify different projects that can utilize the money.
“The school has produced an advertisement that plays at the local theater, and we will help pay for that,” Derek said. East Hardy kept county residents apprised of school construction through the theater advertisements.
Another possible project involves a sign thanking the community for its support of East Hardy’s renovation and new construction.
“These are different ways to let Hardy County citizens know how much East Hardy High’s students, faculty and staff appreciate what the community has done for them. The new East Hardy facility will pay benefits for years to come,” Derek said.
As part of the application, Derek wrote about wanting the business community to have a greater presence in the schools. As a first step, he and Hardy Public Relations/Business Development/Website Hosting Representative Heather Robbins addressed the sophomore and junior classes on November 4 to stress the importance of education in finding a job.
Derek also told the students that they could work to develop original video content that could then be broadcast on Hardy OneNet television, leading to EHHS having its own channel.
“That’s a long-term goal, but we’d love to get there,” he said.
The Education Alliance is a non-profit organization serving schools in West Virginia by promoting business and community involvement in public schools.