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Schools, hospital, college to benefit from USDA grant

By By MICHELE GERLACH Publisher
The state director of USDA Rural Development delivered almost a half-million dollars to the Escambia County Board of Education Thursday for a distance learning initiative.
Steve Pelham of the USDA said his agency was pleased to provide the $499,869 grant to improve education opportunities for more than 6,800 students and staff in Escambia County.
As part of the grant application process, the county school system formed an education consortium that also includes D.W. McMillan Memorial Hospital, Jefferson Davis Community College and the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. The project will provide college courses, advance placement courses, elective studies, behavioral counseling, teacher continuing education, technology training, adult education, Indian culture education, science curriculum, and employment training.
Pelham said this grant was the only one from Alabama of its kind funded in the current application cycle, which awarded $17.1 million to 40 different applicants nationwide.
In other business, the board: