KINGDOM CITY, Mo. — North Callaway R-1 School District received a $70,000 grant this week from Sinclair Research of Callaway County.
The support will fund numerous projects within the district, including new science, technology, engineering and math equipment and Chromebooks in multiple buildings, remodeling of a new technology maker space at Hatton-McCredie, and reading program textbooks at Williamsburg.
"We appreciate that Sinclair is mindful of their community's needs and especially wish to thank them for their generous support of our science and technology initiatives," North Callaway High School Principal Brian Jobe said.
Sinclair officials are committed to supporting specific projects. In January, they also made a $15,000 donation to the Callaway County Sheriff's Office.
When the company realized there would be funds to donate, they launched a project search with the idea that supporting direct goals would ensure the largest impact.
"[North Callaway] did well in presenting lists of specific projects, and we were happy to find at the end we could fund them all," said Jeff White, vice president of Sinclair.
President/CEO Guy Bouchard further explained the decision to award the grant to North Callaway.
"High school is a defining moment and kids don't always realize that," he said. "The real future is in education and everything depends on the education you get."
Bouchard also emphasized a commitment to Callaway County.
"It was very important for us to keep the grant local and to give back to this community," he added. "We hope to help address issues that maybe Columbia doesn't have."
Andrea Smithee, assistant to Sinclair's president, attended North Callaway schools and recalled times when the district did not have the funds for projects.
"I am very honored to be able to work for a company that is able to give back," she said.
The grant was officially presented at an assembly at North Callaway High School on March 6. Bouchard spoke to students briefly about the importance of academics. When the amount was announced, students gave an unexpected standing ovation.
"That was moving," Jobe said. "It just goes to show once again, that our kids get it. They understand that this grant is going to have a direct impact on their daily experience at school."
Sinclair has made numerous smaller grants to support local community and education. White said Sinclair views grants as an investment in the future of both the company and the county.
"We employ about 200 highly-educated people in the county," he said. "Some of [North Callaway's] students will be our future employees."
Sinclair Research is based in northwestern Callaway County and does business nationally and internationally. The current facility was built over a four-year period and opened in 2004, employing about 200 people with a variety of educational levels and talents. In the course of locating to Callaway County, Sinclair also helped the county develop roads.