Student Connect Grant Benefits Clay County Students and Residents

Forty students in the Clay County school system are sporting new Chromebooks to assist with their academic growth, thanks to a grant from the Southwestern Commission.

The $55,000 grant also enabled the County to expand broadband capabilities out to the Clay County Recreational Park. The Rec Park is used by numerous families with children throughout the year and is a popular outdoor education spot for local schools.

Clay County Manager Debbie Mauney says the grant for the community helps to level the playing field for students in rural areas. “The Chromebooks offer students easier and greater access to educational opportunities, and the extension to the Rec Park will be used to increase connectivity for outdoor/remote learning sites for the schools and community at large.”

The Clay County award was one of six projects the Southwestern Commission funded within its service area, which includes the seven far-westernmost counties in North Carolina. The state of North Carolina awarded almost $190,000 to the Commission to distribute, intended to better help students connect to broadband. 

“It’s no secret that fast, effective broadband is critical to student success and we are excited to partner with Clay County on this project,” says Russ Harris, Executive Director of the Southwestern Commission.