HARTSVILLE, SC (WMBF) - The Darlington County School District presented Duke Energy with the 2015 Jimmy Newsom Signature Award on Friday during the district's annual Education Forum held at Hartsville Country Club.
The award is presented annually to a nominee selected by teachers for having made a significant impact on students, teachers and schools in the district.
The Duke Energy Ambassador Program brings Duke Energy employees into a district school to serve as adult mentors for students. The mentors encourage academic success, enhance self-esteem and provide role models for students in at-risk situations. The program's most recent partnership is with North Hartsville Elementary School.
Nearly 80 Duke Energy employees volunteered a day's work in September to perform maintenance and complete renovation projects at Cain Elementary School. The group of volunteers, known as the "Duke Energy In Action" team, repainted walls, built and installed new cubbyholes in classrooms and developed a new outdoor learning area. Volunteers from Duke Energy commit to the service day each year at a different DCSD school.
Duke Energy launched a new project to support students of the district in the past year, which provided nearly 100 students with bicycles and helmets. Employees of Duke Energy's Robinson Nuclear Plant in Hartsville raised $16,000 to purchase the bikes and helmets, mostly for students in DCSD, either directly through schools, individual households, the Boys & Girls Club or through the Durant Children's Center.
Recent Jimmy Newsom Signature Award honorees include S.C. Speaker of the House Jay Lucas, former DCSD Superintendent Dr. Rainey Knight and the Darlington County Library System.
The Darlington County Teacher Forum is a teacher leadership organization composed of the 23 school Teachers of the Year and Outstanding First Year Teachers, as well as current and former District Teachers of the Year.