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Lt. Govenor announces educational awards for Black students

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Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long announced STAR-Delaware Merit, an essay-based award program, to support Black students.

Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long announced STAR-Delaware Merit, an essay-based award program, to help support Black students. | PHOTO COURTESY OF LT. GOVERNOR OFFICE

WILMINGTON — Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long announced a new educational awards program to support Delaware students from minority communities on April 10.

STAR-Delaware Merit is a statewide essay-based merit awards initiative coordinated by Lt. Governor Hall-Long’s Office and participating public school districts.

A study by the Black Education Research Collective (BERC) at Columbia University’s Teachers College, takes a look how the pandemic affected the education of Black students, citing the importance of schools responding to the social, emotional, and academic needs of Black students.

STAR-Delaware Merit seeks to directly engage sixth to eighth graders from minority communities through creative writing around their higher education aspirations. As part of the program, qualifying students can submit essays to share their educational dreams, including what classes they are taking to help achieve those dreams. Students are eligible for $100 – $150 awards. The initiative is funded solely through private dollars by the STAR Scholarship Foundation and philanthropist Paul Peck, which has supported student aspirations in other states like Montgomery County, Maryland.

“Schools lay the foundation for the success of our children, and it is paramount to support our students in their quest to follow their dreams. That’s the beauty of this new initiative: We are encouraging our kids to envision their future and how they can achieve it by putting pen to paper,” Lt. Governor Hall-Long said in a press release. “I am so thankful for Paul Peck, the STAR Scholarship Foundation, and the Delaware school district leaders who will be piloting this initiative for their students. I look forward to seeing our kids’ dreams take flight with the support of mentors and an inclusive school environment.”

Participating public school districts will share information with their school communities and vet applications. Here are the inaugural participating school districts in the soft launch:

  • Red Clay School District
  • Christina School District
  • Colonial School District
  • Capital School District
  • Caesar Rodney School District
  • Laurel School District

School districts with any questions should reach out to the Lt. Governor’s Office here.

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