Georgia-Pacific gives to schools

Published 4:22 pm Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Leaders from the Demopolis City Schools foundation and Georgia-Pacific gathered Wednesday to discuss a $10,000 grant the company recently provided the foundation. Shown from left are foundation vice president Kim Townsend, foundation president John Northcutt, Georgia Pacific's Kelvin Hill and foundation executive director Amanda Barnes.

Georgia-Pacific continued their support of the Demopolis City Schools Foundation on Wednesday by presenting the organization with a $10,000 check.

“One of the focuses of the grant will be to fund efforts to begin a robotics program at the middle school,” Amanda Barnes, foundation executive director said.

While the foundation was free to choose how to spend the money, Kelvin Hill, vice president of operations for the company’s Naheola mill, said they are happy that robotics will be a big part of the grant.

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“I think the robotics program is right in line with our vision at Georgia-Pacific, and I think robotics gets the students excited about education,” Hill said.

Barnes said she has seen robotics programs at work in other systems, and the experience can be a confidence builder for students, particularly girls.

“We want to do more than just a robotics team, but offer it to the sixth-grade class,” she said.

In addition to the presentation of the check, foundation supporters and Georgia-Pacific representatives discussed how to prepare students for a technology-driven workforce.

Hill said robotics play a significant role in how the mill is operated and that preparing students to work with these machines are key out in the real world.

“Anytime there is an opportunity for a potential positive experience for students to have with technology, we think that’s a good thing,” he said.

Foundation President John Northcutt said this grant will make a big difference to the school system.

GP is a longtime contributor to the foundation and produces paper products from their Naheola mill.