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Florida Power & Light announces first five schools to receive STEM classroom makeover grant as part of larger $2 million, 4-year commitment

01/17/2022 | 10:09am EDT

JUNO BEACH - Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) today announced the names of the inaugural five schools in Florida to receive a Classroom Makeover Grant as part of a $2 million, 4-year commitment from its charitable arm, the NextEra Energy Foundation, to advance STEM curriculum, increase the exposure of Black students to STEM education and jumpstart students' interest in STEM careers.

Each year through 2024, five schools will be selected in FPL's service area to receive the $50,000 grant. The grants are intended to provide transformational learning opportunities for Black students in classroom settings, as all recipient schools are comprised of at least 25% Black students. The Classroom Makeover Grant program directly addresses needs in infrastructure, technology or resources (i.e., software, equipment, books, training of teachers, tutors, paraprofessionals).

'Our STEM Classroom Makeover Grant allows us to invest in our next generation to help provide transformational learning opportunities for Black students in a STEM classroom setting,' said Pamela Rauch, vice president of external affairs and economic development for FPL. 'We are excited that these projects will be one of the first, as we complete our inaugural year of implementing this grant, which allows us to support both educators and students, our next generation of leaders.'

More than 30 Florida schools applied in the program's inaugural year for the grant. FPL's five classroom makeover grant recipients in Florida for 2022 are: Cypress Run Education Center School: An alternative school in Broward County, this school plans to invest in a multimedia technology lab, web design programs, TV production arrangements, coding software, robotics education and Microsoft certifications.

Dan McCarty Middle School: This historic school in St. Lucie County seeks to fill technology gaps through touch panel screens, furniture, STEM lab equipment, mathematics manipulatives and robotics education.

Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary School: At this Palm Beach County school, this grant will be used toward a variety of professional education resources, including computers, robot lab packs, aerodynamics sets and renewable energy education kits.

J.H. Workman Middle School: In Escambia County, this school is home to a unique pipeline program that leads students to George Stone Technical College. With the grant, the school intends to implement a one-of-a-kind aviation program.

Rutherford High School: This school in Bay County saw significant impacts during Hurricane Michael and plans to continue recovery using the grant through investment in tablets and 3D printers, among other materials for students.

'As a Title 1 school with a 98% Black population, we are committed to providing children of color with vast learning opportunities and exposure to STEM education and careers,' said Katrina W. Granger, principal of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary School. 'We are so appreciative of FPL's commitment to diversity in STEM which has made the vision of a hardworking and inspiring STEM educator with big dreams, Tracey Howard, come to fruition. This grant will support both Mrs. Howard and her scholars achieve their greatest dreams.'

The makeovers must be complete by Sept. 1, 2022. This grant is open to all public, private and charter schools and all grade levels in FPL's service area in Florida. Grants are also available through the program to schools in areas served by FPL's sister company NextEra Energy Resources. As with all foundation grants, no customer dollars are involved.

Florida Power & Light Company

Florida Power & Light Company is the largest vertically integrated rate-regulated electric utility in the U.S. as measured by retail electricity produced and sold. The company serves more than 5.6 million customer accounts supporting more than 11 million residents across Florida with clean, reliable and affordable electricity. FPL operates one of the cleanest power generation fleets in the U.S and in 2021 won the Reliability One National Reliability Excellence Award for the sixth time in the last seven years. The company received the top ranking in the southern U.S. among large electric providers, according to J.D. Power's 2021 Electric Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction StudySM and 2021 Electric Utility Business Customer Satisfaction StudySM. The company was also recognized in 2020 as one of the most trusted U.S. electric utilities by Escalent for the seventh consecutive year. FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Florida-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE), a clean energy company widely recognized for its efforts in sustainability, corporate responsibility, ethics and compliance, and diversity. NextEra Energy is ranked No. 1 in the electric and gas utilities industry in Fortune's 2021 list of 'World's Most Admired Companies' and recognized on Fortune's 2021 list of companies that 'Change the World.' NextEra Energy is also the parent company of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, which, together with its affiliated entities, is the world's largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun and a world leader in battery storage.


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