HIGH POINT, N.C. — Schools here have launched new educational programs and upgraded facilities thanks to a $100,000 donation from Thomas Built Buses and parent company Daimler Trucks North America.
The contribution to Guilford County Schools, announced in early 2017, was made through the DaimlerCares program. Over the course of the year, the donation has been used to bolster both academics and physical activity for students in the school district.
“There’s no doubt that this generous charitable contribution from Thomas Built Buses has made a difference for our students, teachers, and families in High Point,” said Sharon Contreras, superintendent of Guilford County Schools. “Preparing our students for college, career, and life must be a community effort — a community investment. … I want to thank Thomas Built Buses for their commitment and continued support.”
The donation benefitted a number of schools across High Point, which is where Thomas Built Buses is based. Results of the donation included:
• Replacement of the gym floor at Oak Hill Elementary School.
• A new stage sound and lighting board for the Penn-Griffin School for the Arts.
• A mentorship program with inspirational speaker Mychal Wynn that focused on African-American student achievement.
• An after-school STEM program aimed at closing the mathematics gap from fourth to fifth grade at Kirkman Park Elementary.
• A STEM-focused makerspace at Johnson Street Global Studies that encourages students to make, create, and learn about science, technology, engineering, and math.
• Educational tools for two new K-5 science labs at Fairview Elementary School.
• Flexible seating and learning spaces at Ferndale Middle School, accessible to all students in the school.
• Four EV3 robots for students to develop programming and creative problem-solving skills at Southwest Elementary School.
Some schools reported that the donation came during their greatest time in need.
“During the 2015-2016 school year, our stage lighting board ceased to function. Without a lighting board, all school concerts and shows, graduation, and assemblies would be on a dark stage,” said Howard Stimpson, principal of Penn-Griffin School for the Arts, recipient of the new stage lighting and sound board. “As a performing arts school, stage lights and the ability to program them with professional ability is a necessity we are very grateful to have.”
Thomas Built Buses employees also volunteered their time to support the school district through programs such as Reading Buddies, coaching the Thomas Built basketball league, and volunteering with after-school STEM programs.
“It warms our hearts to see how many students were impacted by our donation,” said Caley Edgerly, president and CEO of Thomas Built Buses. “Our employees always look forward to the times they volunteer with Guilford County Schools. We are thrilled that our donation was able to impact so many students across the district in so many different ways.”