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Students at Belgreen High School enjoy Chromebooks in their classroom learning. This technology was purchased through a grant Franklin County Schools received for $140,000 through the Appalachian Regional Commission.

Franklin County Schools receives $200K for technology from ARC

Franklin County Schools are one step closer to being “one-to-one” – have a computer device for each student – thanks to a Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics learning grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission.

The STEAM grant was for $140,000, plus a $60,000 match from other sources.

“Students now are learning through technology, so to capture them, you have to be able to combine education with technology,” said Franklin County Schools grant writer Susan Hargett.

With the total $200,000, the school system was able to purchase a server for the network, Chromebooks for student usage, desktops for teachers and other technology.

“These Chromebooks, along with other purchases through COVID funding, are bringing the schools closer to one-to-one usage,” Hargett said. “The server and access to personal computing devices have been vital during the pandemic to help our students stay connected to academic learning.” 

The technology is being used for students in grades seven through 12, benefiting Tharptown High School, Belgreen High School, East Franklin Junior High, Phil Campbell High School, Vina High School and Red Bay High School.

“We are able to get technology into the hands of more students, and that is huge for helping them to prepare for the future,” Hargett said. “Technology is changing the way kids learn and live life.”

State Rep. Jamie Kiel said it is important for all students to have access to technology.

“The COVID pandemic has made it apparent that we need to improve the technology in our schools,” Kiel said. “Dr. Hargett was very proactive in seeking and winning this grant to invest over $200,000 in the Franklin County Schools system. I appreciate the work that Dr. Hargett and Mr. (Superintendent Greg) Hamilton have done to ensure our children are not left behind while dealing with this crisis.”