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Walmart Foundation Awards FAO a $300,000 Grant

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Mark Rickel at 614-232-8309

Holly Duell at 740-753-1111

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WalmartFoundation Awards Grant to Support Education Initiative

in Appalachia Ohio

Foundation for Appalachia Ohio Writing Contest and teacher grants available in all 32 counties

(COLUMBUS)– The Walmart Foundation today awarded $300,000 to the Foundation forAppalachian Ohio to support theorganization’s Child of Appalachia studentwriting contest and the Strive forExcellence teacher grant program during the 2010-11 school year. The grantwas provided by the Walmart Foundation’s State Giving Council and was presentedduring the first-ever meeting of the Appalachia Ohio Business Council.

“Walmart is proud to once again support the Foundation forAppalachian Ohio (FAO) and its programs that broaden the education opportunitiesfor the students and teachers in Ohio’s Appalachia region,” said David Gose,Regional General Manager for Walmart’s southern Ohio region. “Throughthe State Giving Program, the Walmart Foundation supports organizations withprograms that align with our mission to create opportunities so people can livebetter. We appreciate and share in the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio’s belief that education is critical tothe well-being of all.”

The Walmart Foundation grant will provide sponsorship support toFAO’s I’m a Child of Appalachia® Writing Contest for students in the 4th – 9th grade.This contest was created to shape a more positive future for Appalachia byencouraging the region’s students to believe in their ability to succeed. Thegrant will fund the promotion and implementation of the program as well as theawards to students and their teachers. Prizes will be awarded at each gradelevel in each of the 32 Appalachian counties for a total of 384 awards.

 Thepartnership between FAO and the Walmart Foundation will also provide financialsupport for the Strive for Excellence programwhere teachers compete for curriculum enrichment grants to enhance studentexperiences in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)fields.  As a result of these activities,students will discover new passions and aspirations for post-secondarypursuits.

“An accessible education is the foundation forenhanced quality of life and growth of economic prosperity in AppalachianOhio,” said FAO President and CEO Cara Dingus Brook. “The Foundation isdelighted to partner with the Walmart Foundation to ensure our region’sstudents and educators have access to the educational opportunities necessaryfor success.”

InAppalachian Ohio, only one-third of adults over the age of 25 have any formaleducation beyond high school, as compared to approximately one-half of adultsacross the rest of the State.  Throughthe Walmart Strive for ExcellenceTeacher Grants Initiative, the educational gap experienced in our region isaddressed. From the Writing Contest, the region’s expectations for success areraised and teachers are supported in providing innovation to students’educational experiences.

In 2009, Walmart and its Foundation gave more than $53 million tofund educational programs in communities across the country.  By supporting education, the WalmartFoundation ensures that the leaders of tomorrow have access to the quality educationopportunities they need to be successful today.

The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio is a nonprofit, regionalcommunity foundation serving to enhance quality of life throughout the 32counties of Appalachian Ohio. The Foundation is currently taking a ten yearfocus on education as a rigorous and accessible education is the foundation forenriched quality of life and growth of economic prosperity in our region.