Local schools receive funds from Poarch

Published 2:00 am Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians contributed more than $200,000 to area schools in a presentation Thursday.
The funds included $28,431 to Brewton Elementary School, $29,930 to Brewton Middle School, $30,000 to Pollard-McCall Junior High School, $29,607 to T.R. Miller High School, $29,970 to W.S. Neal High School, $30,042 to W.S. Neal Middle School, $30,001 to W.S. Neal Elementary School, all in Escambia County and $25,842 to Excel School in Monroe County.
Earlier in the year the tribe donated more than $2 million to support area schools in the Atmore area as well as Baldwin, Monroe and Escambia (Fla.) counties.
Escambia County Superintendent Randall Little said the money from Poarch means a lot to schools in the county reeling from the worst recession since the Great Depression.
“The money from Poarch has been a major asset to local schools,” he said. “It has allowed the schools to fund things they wouldn’t normally be able to.”
Little said Poarch has donated more than $1.2 million to Escambia County schools over the last few years — and the money has helped fill a $6.8 million hole in state funding for schools since the start of fiscal year 2009.
“You couldn’t ask for better support of all of our schools,” he said.
Anne Lambert, principal of Brewton Elementary, said the school would use its share of the money for laptops, document cameras and projection equipment. BMS Principal Carrie Brown said the money would be used for technology, books and safety equipment.
Excel School Principal Marty Hanks said the school would purchase iPads and mobile carts that could be transported from classroom to classroom in the high and middle schools, while Hugh White, principal at Pollard-McCall said the school’s share of funds would be used on upgrading security cameras and a mobile computer lab.
T.R. Miller Principal Mary Bell said the money would buy new computers and software, while W.S. Neal Elementary Principal Susan McKenzie said the money would help upgrade technology at the school including new computers, smart boards and portable classrooms used for tests, called NEO labs.
Dennis Hadaway, principal at W.S. Neal Middle School, will use the money to upgrade the school security system with new cameras and buy new computers, while Neal High School Principal Patricia Frazier said the money would help in establishing a new computer lab for the school.
“At a time when budget cuts are infiltrating our schools I am proud that we are able to make this investment in the future of our children,” said Tribal Chairman Buford Rolin.
“I believe knowledge that is gained through education is essential for children to reach their goals in life and it will enable them to have limitless opportunities.”

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