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Meta gives Community Action Grants to Newton schools, 4-H Club
Facebook Stanton Springs
Facebook's data center operates in Stanton Springs South technology park in Newton County near Social Circle. - photo by Tom Spigolon

SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. — Facebook parent company Meta recently gave its annual Data Center Community Action Grants to schools and nonprofits serving youth in Newton and three other counties.

The program will provide more than $260,000 in grants for “short-term, high-impact projects that address critical local needs” in the four counties represented by the Joint Development Authority, Meta officials said. 

"The program's goal is to support the Stanton Springs area by putting the power of technology to use for community benefit, connecting people online or off, improving education and promoting local economic development," a Meta spokesperson said. 

It is available to qualified nonprofits and some public entities, such as schools, located in Jasper, Walton, Morgan and Newton counties. 

"The recipients are selected through a careful process that involves Meta staff at the local and headquarters level," the spokesperson said.

Katie Comer, community development manager for Meta, said, “Since we broke ground on our Stanton Springs Data Center in 2018, Meta has been committed to investing in the vitality of the community and we embrace the opportunity to have a positive local impact through the Data Center Community Action Grant program.

“We’re thrilled to support the 2023 Stanton Springs Data Center grant recipients and their innovative programs, and we extend our warmest congratulations to each of them,” Comer said.

Recipients included:

• Walnut Grove Elementary School, $14,000. This grant will enable interactive STEM learning experiences to all Walnut Grove Elementary School learners to enhance critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving.

• Social Circle Schools, $17,608. This grant will support expanding student STEM experiences in the classroom in order for all students to benefit from growth in their science and technology skillsets and understanding.

• Walton County Public Schools, $9,200. This grant will enable digital learners' curiosities and engage students in the curriculum through STEM initiatives.

• Newton College and Career Academy Technology Student Association, $24,299. This grant will support the workforce of the future by utilizing virtual reality technology in the classroom.

• Youth Elementary School, $4,816. This grant will support STEM marker spaces that promotes student involvement and inclusiveness for all students, specifically in STEM related areas.

• Newton County 4-H, $15,000. This grant will enable 4-H STEM education in and out of the classroom for youth in kindergarten through 12th grade in Newton County.

• Team Up Mentoring, $20,000. This grant will create a STEM-themed summer camp improving academic engagement and performance for underserved youth with significant trauma experiences in Walton County.

• Newton County Schools, $40,000. This grant will provide STEM on the Go Kits to enhance STEM access and integration for elementary students.

• Camp Twin Lakes, $25,000. This grant will grow wellness, connection, and community for children with serious illnesses, disabilities, and adverse childhood experiences while providing opportunities for STE(A)M learning outside of school time.

• Youth Middle School, $22,014. This grant will provide opportunities for students to learn and integrate their coding abilities with hands-on engineering skills learned through the use of robot technology.

• Jasper County Charter System, $5,500. This grant will support environmental field trips in the field of agricultural sciences for Jasper County School student to have hands-on learning experiences focused outside of the classroom.

• Morgan County Charter School System, $13,481. This grant will enhance STEM education for all students grades K-12 with new coding devices and accessories to grow this demanding field.

Meta operates a data center in the Stanton Springs South technology park in Newton County near Social Circle, and is nearing completion on a second data center in the same park.