SMITHFIELD, NC (WNCN) — U.S. Department of Agriculture State Director of Rural Development Reginald Speight participated in an announcement ceremony for schools in Johnston County on Thursday.
Rural Development is investing $1.3 million in grants to schools in Johnston County.
“Rural Development is proud of its ongoing relationship with Johnston County and surrounding school districts,” said State Director of Rural Development Reginald Speight. “The USDA is true to the continued success of Johnston County Schools with nearly $2 million in distance telemedicine grants invested here since 2019.”
The school system will use $982,000 to purchase telecommunications equipment to implement instructor professional development; helping educators respond more effectively to students and families in crisis, as well as providing a way for students to attend virtual support, counseling, and therapy sessions.
The project will benefit approximately 14,000 public school students in Johnston and Tyrell counties.
Johnston County Schools will use $382,000 to purchase telehealth video equipment to convert nursing stations into on-site testing locations at Selma Elementary and Middle School in Selma and Benson Elementary and Middle School in Benson .
The project includes staffing a full-time nurse to administer vaccines and quarantine space if needed. The equipment will help stop the transmission of COVID-19.
Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunity, create jobs, and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas.