Accomack and Northampton Counties, Va. – The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation (CRSF) announced the opening of seven STEM Centers in Accomack and Northampton counties, thanks to various funders, including the Franklin P. and Arthur W. Perdue Foundation, the charitable giving arm of Perdue Farms; philanthropist David Landsberger; the Eastern Shore of Virginia Community Foundation; Captains Cove Community Partners; community advocates John Custis and Robert Smith, as well as various other community members. In total, $210,000 has been raised for this important county-wide initiative. The opening events will take place over two consecutive days and will be followed by a celebratory welcoming reception.
The schools opening these state-of-the-art STEM Centers include:
- Kegotank Elementary School
- Accawmacke Elementary School
- Pungoteague Elementary School
- Chincoteague Elementary School
- Chincoteague Middle School
- Occohannock Elementary School
- Kiptopeke Elementary School
Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation Co-Founder Cal Ripken, Jr. said, “We are thrilled to be bringing these STEM Centers to schools in Virginia. We’ve learned that getting STEM in front of kids in elementary and middle schools is critical. Thanks to great partners and community leaders, we are opening these STEM Centers at a rapid pace nationwide, and they are making a difference to students, teachers, and the schools.”
In 2021, CRSF celebrated its 20th anniversary and over that time it has grown into a national non-profit organization impacting over 10 million kids in underserved communities. The Foundation has opened 147 fully operational and turnkey STEM Centers in elementary and middle schools in 16 states. In addition, the Foundation has distributed over 10,000 at-home STEM kits in 16 states.
“STEM opportunities are lacking in many rural communities such as Accomack County. What the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation is bringing to the schools here is very exciting and much needed,” said Kim Nechay, Executive Director of the Perdue Foundation. “We at Perdue are honored to partner with them to make it happen. The educational tools these kids will now have access to are not only fun but state of the art. That’s very exciting for our community!”
David Landsberger added, “Working to bring STEM centers to the Eastern Shore of Virginia is exciting for me. Educating our children for the future and getting them excited about fields that can lead to fulfilling and lucrative careers has always been an important goal for me. Partnering with the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, we will be able to reach seven schools here in Virginia’s Eastern Shore to serve kids who otherwise might not have had this educational opportunity.”
“We are delighted to participate in this meaningful project and join with our partners to bring these STEM Centers to the Shore,” said Julie Badger, Executive Director of the Eastern Shore of Virginia Community Foundation. “Our children are our most important asset; bringing these STEM Centers here offers a wonderful opportunity for our students to learn STEM skills for brighter, more competitive futures.”
“Accomack County Public Schools is looking forward to this wonderful partnership. We appreciate the support of our community for providing this exciting educational opportunity to our students, and thank the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation for thinking of us,” said Dr. Rhonda Hall, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction for Accomack County Public Schools.
While providing STEM Centers to these seven schools is a great accomplishment, the effort is not complete. CRSF’s goal is to bring STEM Centers to all 13 elementary and middle schools in both Accomack and Northampton Counties. For more information, or to donate to the effort, please visit the website below: