From The Mississippi Link Newswire
CANTON – A $500,000 education grant announced Thursday by Nissan will strengthen academic support programs for elementary students who are not making sufficient progress in their school curriculum.
The $500,000 grant will be used by the Canton Public School District to employ two new academic interventionists who will provide targeted instruction and support to students needing the most intensive academic assistance.
Canton Public School Superintendent Dwight Luckett Sr. said, “We are elated with Nissan’s generous donation and continued support of educational opportunities for students in our community. For the district to reach its full potential, we are committed to working even harder to continue meeting the challenges before us. We can accomplish our mission much faster when community and business leaders like Nissan partner with us to offer hope, opportunity and inspiration to our students.”
Nissan also announced the donation of two vehicles to the Canton Career Center operated by the school district. The center prepares high school students for careers in automotive service technology, collision repair and other fields. The donated vehicles, a 2012 Nissan Xterra SUV and a 2013 Nissan Altima sedan, were manufactured at the company’s vehicle assembly plant in Canton.
Luckett added, “We are very grateful to Nissan for its commitment to enhancing programs offered at the Canton Career Center, where students are trained for careers in the skilled workforce. The donation of two Nissan vehicles for instructional purposes will be invaluable in giving our students hands-on training to help keep them abreast of the latest automotive technology.”
Because of their “relentless efforts,“ Canton Public Schools and Canton Career Center said their graduation rate has increased by more than 35 percent and their dropout rate has decreased by more than 40 percent.
The Nissan Canton plant is celebrating its 10th anniversary in May 2013.
Nissan has awarded nearly $1.2 million in company grants and contributions, in-kind gifts and student scholarships to the school district over the last decade. Additionally, Nissan employees volunteer many hours annually working with students in the classroom and as one-on-one mentors.
Dan Bednarzyk, vice president of manufacturing for Nissan’s Canton vehicle assembly plant, said, “At Nissan, we believe it’s vital that every child is offered a quality education to have the best opportunity for a lifetime of success. Helping Canton schools succeed is especially important because the district serves our local community and many of its students will go on to become future Nissan team members.”
The two donations were announced Thursday, April 25, at a celebratory event at Canton Elementary School. Participants included teachers, administrators, students, parents and community leaders, along with local Nissan managers and employees who volunteer in the schools.
Senator Kenny Wayne Jones of Canton said, “I have always been a strong advocate for education because it is essential to achieve the equality and opportunity that every child so richly deserves. I am pleased to see Nissan, the schools and the community standing together to help ensure a quality education for every one of Canton’s children.”
The Nissan Canton vehicle assembly plant began operations in 2003 and employs more than 5,000 people with an annual payroll in excess of $200 million. Nissan has announced plans to move assembly of the next-generation Nissan Murano to Canton from Japan beginning in 2014. Canton employees currently build the award-winning Altima, Armada full-size SUV, Xterra mid-size SUV, Titan and Frontier pickup trucks, and NV full-size commercial cargo and passenger vans. Canton will also begin building the all-new Sentra compact sedan in 2013.
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan’s second-largest automotive company, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, and is part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance.