Prince Edward broadcasting, nursing programs get funding help

Published 8:20 pm Monday, July 24, 2023

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FARMVILLE – Schools in Prince Edward County got some welcome funding help from the state this month, as the district received $125,000 for career and technical education programs. The goal, officials from the Virginia Department of Education said, was to help districts expand, establish or restore programs in middle or high school. 

In last year’s regular session, the General Assembly allocated $3 million to the project, with $125,000 going to each school district that applied for and was approved for a grant. There were only two rules. First, the grants had to be used on programs that lead to students earning industry-recognized certifications or credentials. This couldn’t be used on any random part of the districts. Second, these programs had to be in demand in the region, with the potential for students to get job opportunities once they finish with school. 

“In Virginia and across the nation there are high-paying jobs in the skilled trades that go unfilled due to a shortage of qualified applicants,” Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction Lisa Coons said. “I want to thank the General Assembly for recognizing the need to prepare more young people for these career opportunities and providing the funding for these grants.”

Restoring, expanding Prince Edward programs

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In Prince Edward, the money will be used to help two programs, nursing and broadcast. A portion of the funding was used to buy an interactive table for students interested in nursing. Think of the old board game Operation, but instead of removing bones on a board, students will be interacting with a digital patient, as if they were operating on him or her. 

“It allows them to gain experience, to examine mock patients and better understand their field of study,” said Prince Edward Superintendent Dr. Barbara Johnson. 

In addition, the district used the remaining funds to buy televisions and other equipment to expand its broadcasting program. 

“At one point, we had a strong broadcasting program here,” Johnson said. “So we’re trying to bring back the broadcasting pathway. If you go through our middle school, you’ll find they still do their news every morning. It made us say, you know, we need to bring back broadcasting.”