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Newton schools, library system among Facebook grant recipients
Will be used to buy Chromebooks, 3D printers, create computer literacy workshops
Facebook Community Action Grants

SOCIAL CIRCLE. Ga. — Facebook Newton Data Center today announced some Newton County nonprofits and schools will receive Facebook Community Action Grants for items like Chromebooks and 3D Printers. 

This is the first year that this program has been available in Newton, Walton, Jasper and Morgan counties. 

Among the recipients are Newton County Schools, which received $31,000 to provide Chromebooks and storage carts to Liberty Middle School students.

Others include the Newton County Library System, which received $5,000 to host a series of community robotics programs to introduce simple computer coding and engineering concepts primarily for children.

Lace Keaton, director of the Newton County Library System, said, “We are so grateful to receive a 2021 Facebook Community Action Grant for Newton County Library System.” 

“The grant will provide us with an opportunity to offer a new STEM ‘Books and Bots Academy’ which will engage patrons ages 8 to 15 in a series of exciting computer literacy workshops,” Keaton said.

Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Georgia received $35,000 to support technology in clubs and improve STEM access to members. 

“With a focus on a makerspace classroom, the equipment will inspire youth to engage in STEM to promote a brighter future,” the release stated. 

Bob Mackey, CEO of Boys & Girls Club of North Central Georgia, said, "Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Georgia is blown away by the generosity of Facebook. 

“This gift to our youth who need us most will allow us to continue our world-class, life-changing programming from engineering to tech. 

“Together we continue to make a difference in the lives of youth because of gifts such as Facebook's."

Other Newton County recipients include:

• Georgia State University, $19,828. This grant will provide 3D printers to create a 3D print team within the school’s STEM makerspace classroom. 

Students at the university, which has a Newton County campus, will be able to learn 3D printing skills while sharing their work in the community.

• Social Circle Primary School, $3,174. This grant will support the purchase of Google Jamboards for collaboration in the classroom. 

Family Promise of NewRock, $2,000. This grant “will be used to assist the homeless population in Newton County with the tools and equipment they need to get back on their feet,” the release stated. 

• Sustainable Newton, $1,500. This grant will support virtual event programming to engage Newton County residents of all ages in activities that involve solving climate and environmental issues locally. 

Alan Verner, chairman of the four counties’ Joint Development Authority, said, “The Facebook Community Action Grants have been life-changing in our community.”

“Facebook is a true community partner invested in supporting our communities near and far,” Verner said.

Grant recipients from other counties include:

• Walton County School District, $52,865. This grant will be used to build both instructional capacity and student interest in programming by introducing a STEMscopes module for all 900 fifth-grade students.

• Camp Twin Lakes, $25,000. This grant will keep underserved children, teens and their families connected, both virtually and in person. 

Camp Twin Lakes near Rutledge “provides year-round, fully-adaptive and deeply impactful camp experiences to nearly 10,000 of Georgia’s children and young adults, helping each camper grow in their confidence and experience the joys of childhood.”

• Jasper County Charter System, $35,000. This grant will be used to add technologically-advanced, interactive Smartboards in each classroom. Smartboards will be used for virtual students to enhance teaching and learning.

The Facebook Community Action Grants program was created to address needs in Newton, Walton, Jasper and Morgan counties by putting the power of technology to use for community benefit, connecting people online or off, and improving STEM education.