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Eastside teacher wins $1,000 Walmart grant
(Left to right): Jeff Easte, Walmart shift manager, Monica Hudgens, Walmart assistant manager, Dan Brown, Walmart assistant manager, Alisa Echols, Alice Bishop, Walmart zone manager and Scott Scholl, Walmart assistant manager.

A local teacher recently received a big check. Literally.

Alisa Echols, a teacher at Eastside High School, was given a $1,000 grant from the Covington Walmart located on Industrial Boulevard. She applied for the grant through the Walmart Community Grants Program.

The money is earmarked for the EHS Career Technical Instruction (CTI) program to purchase popcorn and cotton candy machines to assist the students in fundraising efforts, according to Echols. The CTI program is designed to support students with disabilities enrolled in regular career education programs.

“We have special events the students can attend throughout the school year, and that takes money,” Echols said. “By purchasing these machines, the students can now sell popcorn and cotton candy after school and on weekends. We definitely appreciate the grant and the continued support of our local Walmart.

“Walmart has just been a fantastic supporter of our program. In addition to monetary donations, they have also donated a truck full of school supplies for Eastside. And we love to have Mr. Brown come talk to the students.”

“We saw this project as a good return on our investment,” said Dan Brown, assistant manager at Walmart. “It helps the school raise additional funds for the CTI program, and the CTI program itself assists the students in being better prepared for a career. We are investing in our future workforce.”

Brown said Walmart has been an unofficial partner with the school’s CTI program for quite some time.

“We developed an accidental business partnership,” Brown said. “Ms. Echols invited me to speak to her students several years ago to talk about employment and employability, and we’ve been working together ever since. We’ve actually hired several of her students over the years.”