Jerry Bailey, Senior Manager of Safety at Toyota Mississippi, explains the cleaning and safety practices in the administrative offices of the Toyota Mississippi Blue Springs plant to a group of school superintendents from across the area.

Tupelo • As virtual learning continues across Northeast Mississippi, the Toyota USA Foundation announced on Monday that three local school districts will receive grants totaling $200,000 to help 8,400 students participate in virtual learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Itawamba County School District and South Tippah School District will each receive $90,000. Monroe County School District will receive $20,000.

“South Tippah School District is extremely thankful to receive this grant from Toyota,” Twila Goolsby, South Tippah’s assistant superintendent, said. “These funds will be used to enhance virtual instruction ensuring students are college and career ready upon graduation.”

In addition to the grants, support for the eight school districts in Pontotoc, Union and Lee counties continues via the Toyota Wellspring Education Fund where schools have access to resources like laptops, software and professional development to enhance the instructional setting.

“As educators and students face new challenges during this unique time, Toyota is proud to join with local school districts to help provide equal access to education for teachers and students,” Emily Lauder, Toyota Mississippi’s Vice President of Administration, said. “In addition to this donation, schools in Pontotoc, Union and Lee counties have access to resources supporting both traditional and virtual learning through the Toyota Wellspring Education Fund.”

And this isn’t the first time Toyota has offered support to local schools during the pandemic.

Toyota Mississippi offered three local superintendents, including Brian Jernigan of Monroe County Schools, the opportunity to visit its Blue Springs plant in early September to observe and discuss the company’s COVID-19 safety procedures for potential replication at their schools.

Twitter: @AlsupTheWriter

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