SALEM, Mass., Dec. 20, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Dominion New England gave Salem Public Schools $1.2 million Monday to create an endowment to fund science, technology engineering and math initiatives for students in grades 1 through 8.
Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll, State Sen. Fred Berry and State Rep. John Keenan accepted the check in a ceremony at Salem 5 Community Room. Dominion New England, a unit of Dominion (NYSE: D), is the owner of Salem Harbor Power Station.
Katheryn Curtis, Dominion vice president- Merchant Operations, said, "Dominion believes strongly in encouraging students to excel in all subjects – especially math, science and engineering. We are pleased to be able to assist Salem Public Schools in establishing an endowment that will advance all of those curriculums and at the same time fund programs that will make learning exciting for the students."
Driscoll said, "We intend to treat this generous donation as a legacy gift that will ensure sustainable programming in these areas for many years to come. I am excited by opportunities this endowment will provide for our students."
The city plans to take $1 million of the money to create the endowment. Another $100,000 will go to the Salem Education Foundation and $100,000 will go to the Salem Cyberspace Center.
"This endowment will provide for the continued development of students across the City of Salem. I would like to thank Dominion for this investment and the opportunities that it will bring," said Berry.
Keenan said, "Massachusetts' economic recovery and future vitality are dependent on its brain power and innovation. Dominion's investment in education here in Salem will enable our students to participate and thrive in this new economy."
Among the many programs Salem hopes to fund through the endowment are:
- Nature's Classroom: Nature's Classroom, a unique hands-on educational program that allows students and teachers to experience education from another perspective – outside the walls of the classroom. The program offers a residential experience for three- or five-day stays and operates in 14 sites throughout New England and New York. This is an extremely well-known program with more than 450 schools participating in this academic experience that combines scientific inquiry with critical thinking.
- FIRST: FIRST – "For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology" – is a robotics program for elementary through high school-aged students that seeks to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs to build their science, engineering and technology skills. FIRST has an elementary and middle school robotics program for 9-14 year olds that has become very successful in only a few years, with more than 13,000 teams engaging 135,000 students. Funding from Dominion would be used to recruit and support the City's FIRST teams, including funding for cost of materials, workshops, competitions, recruiting mentors and teacher stipends.
The $100,000 being provided to the Salem Education Foundation will provide funding for projects that further students' educational experiences in science, mathematics, the arts and humanities and go beyond the scope of those funded by the Salem Public School Department.
Salem Cyberspace is a community technology learning center dedicated to expanding academic and career opportunities for the city's neediest population. The funding would be used to foster programs that could expand and improve the services they currently offer to middle school students.
Dominion is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 27,600 megawatts of generation. Dominion operates the nation's largest natural gas storage system and serves retail energy customers in 13 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's website at www.dom.com.
SOURCE Dominion New England