The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina recently awarded $2,955 to Jackson County Schools from the Learning Links grant program.

The grants include $1,350 to support classroom teachers and $1,605 to Jackson Community School for integrated literacy and healthful living programs. Smokey Mountain Elementary School was awarded two classroom grants.

Typically, Learning Links offers grants up to $800 per classroom to public school teachers to provide experiential learning projects in Avery, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Jackson, Macon, Madison, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford and Swain counties. Due to a decrease in requests resulting from the pandemic, 27 requests were funded, a decrease of more than a third. Remaining grant program funds supported several proactive grants for schools and teachers.

The grant to Jackson Community School will fund programs addressing key activities for student learning. One focuses on healthful living to provide students opportunities to learn about exercise and nutrition to create lifelong behaviors. The literacy program explores career interests, financial literacy and student dreams and goals.

“The need to support teachers and students has never been greater,” CFWNC President Elizabeth Brazas said. “Teachers, especially, were tasked with a quick transition to remote learning and addressing student needs in an unprecedented learning environment. CFWNC is pleased to provide additional resources that we hope will enhance student and family experiences while relieving some of the burden placed on educators.”

Learning Links grants are made possible by the Ben W. and Dixie Glenn Farthing Charitable Fund, the Cherokee County Schools Endowment Fund and the Fund for Education.

The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina inspires philanthropy and mobilizes resources to enrich lives and communities in 18 counties in Western North Carolina, including the Qualla Boundary. Last year, the Foundation facilitated $22 million in charitable giving.

For more information, contact The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina at 254-4960 or visit