PCC Receives Grant from International Paper Foundation

After the six-year-old laptop he checked out from the PCC Transitional Studies Department stopped working, English Language Acquisition student Mohand Abdellou was able to secure an updated laptop to complete his Beginning ELA Zoom class.

WINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College has received a $4,000-grant from International Paper’s Grifton mill and the International Paper Foundation to purchase equipment Transitional Studies students need to access online learning.

According to Laurie Weston, director of Pitt’s Transitional Studies Department, the funding will be used to purchase laptops and other computer equipment, including webcams and mobile hotspots, to ensure students can participate in virtual instruction during the coronavirus pandemic. She said a portion of the grant monies would also go toward equipping Transitional Studies instructors with dual monitors that allow them to teach proficiently as they work remotely due to COVID-19.

Weston thanked International Paper for its support of the college’s Transitional Studies students, who she says must typically overcome multiple barriers to achieving their educational goals, even when circumstances are normal.

“With such a great reliance on distance learning due to the pandemic, our students are encountering an increasing number of obstacles that threaten to keep them from progressing and succeeding with their studies,” Weston said. “The funds provided by International Paper allow us to secure technology that enhances student access to our distance learning and internet-based instructional programs.”

Weston said the technology will also allow instructors to meet more often with students virtually and with improved internet stability. It’s a combination she says will help students “stay focused and on target to meet their goals,” so they can ultimately join the workforce with a higher skill level.

Started in 1952, the International Paper Foundation is part of International Paper’s effort to be among the world’s most successful, sustainable and responsible companies. Each year, the organization provides millions in grants to assist nonprofit organizations with addressing critical needs in the communities in which its employees live and work. Funding priority is given to programs related to the foundation’s signature causes: education, hunger, health/wellness, disaster relief, and initiatives that improve the planet.

For more information on the foundation, visit http://www.ipgiving.com.