Charter school wins coding grant


Staff Writer

Monday, November 20, 2017

North East Carolina Prep School, Edgecombe County’s only charter school, is a recipient of a new Coding and Mobile App Development Grant program awarded through the N.C. Department of Public Instruction.

N.C. Superintendent Mark Johnson announced Wednesday that 14 schools in 12 school districts and one charter school were awarded grants totaling $400,000 though the new Coding and Mobile App Development Grant Program. The grants, which range from $10,000 to $40,000, support partnerships with local businesses to help schools develop computer science, coding and mobile app development programs for middle and high school students, a press release from Johnson’s office said.

North East Carolina Prep will receive $36,000 as its portion of the grant money. William Etheridge, executive director at North East Carolina Prep, said he is thrilled with news of the grant.

“This is a great opportunity for our students. We were one of 15 schools in the state to be selected to offer this program and the only charter school,” Etheridge said. “This grant enabled us to purchase another laptop cart, and students will be getting college credit for completing these courses.”

North East Carolina Prep will begin implementation of its program this spring in partnership with Edgecombe Community College. Etheridge also said he hopes this grant will benefit the community as well.

“We look forward to partnering with Edgecombe Community College to create a mobile app for the residents of Tarboro,” Etheridge said.

Johnson said in his press release that such grants can benefit students in the long run.

“I know from my experience working at a tech company the difficulty employers are having recruiting graduates with the appropriate technical skills,” Johnson said. “Thanks to these grants, we are better positioning students for innovative career opportunities available right now in North Carolina.”

Applications for the next Coding and Mobile App Development grant cycle will be available online March 15, 2018. Grant recipients will be announced in the summer and will implement their programs in the fall.