Walmart grant funds laptop computers for Panola College

Cancee Lester, Director of Panola's Shelby County Operations, wrote grant to Center's Walmart store

Walmart Community Grants Team has awarded a $1,000 grant to Panola College to purchase Google Chromebook laptop computers. The grant will tie in with a previous donation from the Panola College Foundation to fund hotspots in Carthage, Marshall and Center.

Cancee Lester worked for Center Independent School District before joining Panola College as an adjunct instructor, and now as the Director of Shelby County Operations. Her close contact with students made her aware that many students do not have access to computers in their homes.

“While Panola College offers free access to computer labs, some of our students deal with transportation issues, family and work commitments that prevent them from using the labs,” Lester said.

Lester wrote a community grant proposal requesting funding from the Center Walmart store #364 to purchase Google Chromebooks that students can check out and take home to use for their school work.

“This is a pilot program and we hope to expand it. Right now, the Library, Shelby Regional Training Center, and the Marshall College Center have a limited number of WiFi hotspots and Chromebooks available for checkout,” said Cristie Ferguson, Director of Library Services. “The pilot program allows Panola College students who live outside of town that do not have reliable internet service to check out a laptop and hotspot for a 24-hour period.”

“We are gratified that Walmart approved our grant proposal. It shows the company’s commitment to the students in Shelby County,” she said.

Walmart’s community grant program supports initiatives in local communities. “We are thrilled to support your work in our communities and share your desire to provide local impact. By receiving this grant, you are part of a long history of Walmart’s commitment to giving back to the communities where we operate.  In fact, Mrs. Helen Walton used to say, "It's not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived,” said Kabir Kumar
Sr. Director, Community Giving Walmart Giving.

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