ECSU Foundation receives $1.2 million from Golden Leaf Foundation
Kesha Williams November 08, 2006
The Elizabeth City State University Foundation received two grants from the Golden
LEAF Foundation totaling $1.2 million. The grant awards announced yesterday will support
educational program initiatives in ECSU's School of Education and Psychology and in
the School of Mathematics, Science and Technology's Aviation Science program.
ECSU received two of the largest grant awards from this year's total allocation of
$1.7 million awarded to public universities in North Carolina by Golden LEAF. Receiving
$1.2 million, ECSU will use $350,000 of these funds to strengthen the work force in
northeastern North Carolina to increase scientific literacy among elementary school
children by better preparing the teachers in the K-5 public schools. The remaining
$850,000 will be used by the Aviation Science department to enhance the degree program
and support the aviation center planned for the proposed airport industrial park in
Elizabeth City, NC.
K-5 teachers in the 17 public school systems of northeastern North Carolina will receive
hands-on, interactive training and professional seminars through distance education.
Utilizing digital technology and broadband networks, educators in particularly remote
counties of northeastern North Carolina will have the opportunity to enjoy professional
development seminars in locations close to home. Funds will also be used to purchase
science kits used for instructional purposes and professional development of teachers
at the 54 schools in these districts, removing the burden of these costs from the
The Aviation Science degree program will use its grant award to add simulators for
aviation instruction, airplane construction kits, and other advanced technological
tools to enhance instruction with industry-specific equipment. These funds will also
be used to conduct research and to add courses to the curriculum necessary to produce
qualified graduates and a work force tailored to the aviation support needs of the
proposed aviation industrial park in Elizabeth City.
The grant application was submitted to the Golden LEAF Foundation in August 2006 by
the ECSU Foundation. An ECSU team effort led by Melanie Blackford, director of development
in the ECSU Institutional Advancement department, included the technical and academic
expertise of Claudia Twiford in the School of Education and Psychology and William
Barker and Orestes Gooden in the Aviation Science department. Their collective efforts
resulted in two innovative programs that obviously got the attention of the Golden
The Golden LEAF Foundation, created in 1999, favors projects that promote job creation
and long-term economic advancement. Valeria Lee serves as president of the foundation
located in Rocky Mount, NC.