Claiborne County School District (Port Gibson) and Entergy

Duration of partnership: 10+ years
20 volunteers
Impacts 400 students

In 2010, Entergy and the Claiborne County School District expanded a longtime partnership toward improving educational opportunities for area schoolchildren. This partnership was built over time, starting more than a decade ago with Entergy’s annual support to the school system through Mississippi’s Adopt-A-School program. Entergy’s particular interest in the Claiborne County schools lies in the unique environment of having the company’s Grand Gulf Nuclear Station situated nearby.
 
The renewed commitment was realized as the district sought funding for improved technology in the classrooms. Entergy and school representatives met to discuss how best to reach the goal of bringing each classroom into the 21st century in terms of new tools and technologies. The result was a contribution from Entergy of $30,000 to purchase SmartBoards for middle school classrooms. The goal was to offer stimulation, increase experiential thinking and accommodate diverse capabilities among students. Now, middle school teachers are able to better reach those students who learn best through visual media, demonstrating lessons in a colorful manner. Different learning styles have been accommodated and teachers have been able to use multimedia resources and the Internet to engage entire classes.
 
In addition, Entergy contributed an additional $5,000 to the Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) USA organization. DOT had the capability of helping the district get the most out of existing technology. Through their “Teach Up!” program, which harnesses the power of youth and technology to improve education, DOT placed tech-savvy interns in the classrooms, providing one-on-one coaching for both students and teachers, helping expand the classrooms’ understanding of existing SmartBoards and other tools.
 
DOT also helped facilitate equipment repairs, putting existing nonfunctioning equipment back to work for students. Entergy followed up with an additional $10,000 grant to DOT to continue to support classrooms through interns but to also work directly with school leadership to set forth a long-term technology plan. DOT will provide guidance on meeting classroom needs and help realize efficiencies through product recommendation and other areas of expertise.
 
Entergy continues to stay in close communication with school leadership and consider the technology needs of the district going forward. As this program continues to evolve, Entergy continues to support Claiborne County’s schools through a wide range of various educational activities. Entergy’s efforts in this regard support the company’s “Destination Education” initiative aimed at filling gaps in public education.
 
Activities
 
Power Path to Nuclear Energy nuclear science curriculum explores careers in the nuclear industry. Through a $10,000 grant from Entergy to the Mississippi Natural Science Museum, students were introduced to the wonders of the wild through “Nature Express.” $5,000 seed money for a new chapter of Parents for Public Schools. “Get on the Bus” awareness campaign to improve graduation rates. Nuclear Ambassadors program, Saturday Science Academy, essay contest, vo-tech training for nuclear industry.
 
Results
 
Port Gibson Middle School advanced to High Performing School. Over the past three years, students scoring Proficient and above in Reading/Language Arts increased 12% and students scoring Proficient and above in Math increased 14%. Student percentages in the lower scoring categories of Minimal and Basic decreased on average approximately 9% in Reading/Language Arts and 14% in Math.