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East Hardin Middle School Receives New Grant From Amaray

02 September 2016

East Hardin Middle School has announced that it is the recipient of a new, $20,000 grant from PROJECT LEAD THE WAY (PLTW) to implement the organization’s premier career learning curriculum for its students. PLTW is a nonprofit organization that provides a transformative learning experience for K-12 students and teachers across the United States. Through PLTW’s pathways in engineering, computer science and biomedical science, K-12 students learn problem-solving strategies, critical and creative thinking, and how to communicate and collaborate.  Students engage in hands-on learning and explore activities, projects, and problems reflective of real-world scenarios and careers. East Hardin Middle School joins more than 8,000 schools across the U.S. in offering PLTW programs to its students.   

This new grant was made possible by a generous donation from Amaray based in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. Jason Neagle, PLTW Teacher Hardin County Schools - Early College Career Center says “It is truly great to receive community support from Amaray here in Elizabethtown, Kentucky to initiate the PLTW Engineering program at East Hardin Middle School. Amaray has shown support through corporate levels and tremendous support from the employees here in Elizabethtown who are matching in funds for what the company is donating to the PLTW program at East Hardin Middle School. It is a true investment and partnership in the STEM education of our students in Hardin County Schools.”

“Workplaces such as ours at Amaray and those across the manufacturing sector require a unique set of skills. Science, technology, engineering and math are where the jobs are today, and where more and more of the opportunities will be tomorrow. The PLTW curriculum inspires students to seize these opportunities by embracing the very subjects, and pursuing the very careers, that will be the heart of our economy well into the future.” said Jim Sykes, CEO of Amaray. “This new grant we are providing to East Hardin Middle School allows us at Amaray to enhance many young minds and help shape that future right here in Elizabethtown, Kentucky.”

Jim Sykes noted that this is a new model of corporate partnership, whereby Amaray’s contribution is more than a corporate donation.  It is fostering the direct engagement of Amaray leaders and associates in each aspect of the initiative. These efforts include direct fundraising to help support the grant, creating unique hands-on learning opportunities via visits to the company’s facility, participating in school-wide events and the development of a soon-to-be-formed PLTW / Amaray School Partnership Team. That Team will mentor students, liaise with local officials, identify professional development opportunities, and provide supplies for the classroom. 

Funds from the grant will be used specifically to start East Hardin Middle School’s PLTW Gateway program. It will cover program expenses such as annual program fees, teacher professional development, and required classroom equipment and materials.

“PROJECT LEAD THE WAY is committed to providing a transformative educational experience that empowers students to prepare for and thrive in an evolving world,” said PLTW President and CEO Vince Bertram. “We are grateful for the truly unique corporate partnership demonstrated by Amaray. Their approach, which involves not only expanding access to PLTW programs in their community with monetary support, but also the engagement of company leaders and associates, sends a clear message. They are committed to career learning and to strengthening their local community. In so doing, they will help spur the creation of tomorrow’s innovators.”

For more information regarding PLTW, visit

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