Fort Polk Progress President Michael Reese presented a grant for $31,174 on behalf of the organization to the Vernon Parish School Board Feb. 7 during a regular board meeting in Leesville, Louisiana.

"I just wanted to tell you all again how appreciative we are of the achievements of the Vernon Parish school system," Reese said to the board while presenting them with the grant.

The grant is a product of the Education Initiative, which is spearheaded by Fort Polk Progress in partnership with Vernon Parish schools, the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk, the Vernon Parish Chamber of Commerce and Community Stakeholders. It aims to improve school performance and educate parents on school curriculum in Vernon Parish School District, which has a large population of military-connected students.

The grant was made up of funds left over from Fort Polk Progress grant dollars from Louisiana Economic Development in 2018.

"Our board was excited to be able to make this additional grant to the Vernon Parish School District to support priorities identified through the Education Initiative committee," Reese said.

According to Renita Page, a VPSB curriculum director, the grant will be used to fund the district website, Camp Discovery, Advanced Placement program incentives, and Quick Response (QR) code cameras for students in kindergarten through second grade to access Clever-a student portal for a variety of learning applications--with a Clever QR code badge.

"Vernon Parish is very fortunate to have a strong partnership with Fort Polk Progress," Page said. "The organization has always been there to help us when we need it."

VPSB Superintendent James Williams and VPSB President Vernon L. Travis, Jr., also expressed to their gratitude to Fort Polk Progress for their continuous support.

"We appreciate everything you do for us," Williams said.

"On behalf of the board, we'd really like to say, 'Thank you,' for all the awesome support from Fort Polk Progress," Travis added.