December 1, 2014 | It takes a village to teach children how to build robots, and that is exactly what Texarkana College and McDonald’s are teaming up to do. The Texarkana College Foundation received a grant to enhance Kids’ College, a program that has fostered creativity and learning in area children for more than 20 years. At a reception on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Texarkana presented the TC Foundation with the $9,984.75 grant to expand the Kids’ College Lego Robotics program.
Using the donation, the program will add 15 new LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 kits to its inventory, allowing an increase in the number of students who are able to participate in the program this summer. This is the second year Kids’ College has received a grant from the Ronald McDonald House Charities.
“To us, it’s about the kids,” said Jason Sadowski, owner and operator of Texamac, Inc. “The Ronald McDonald Foundation is designed to award grants to non-profits that primarily benefit children. This year alone, our charity will award over $68,000 to help fund programs in our service area.”
Director of Continuing Education Kristi Hart said that in addition to the EV3 kits, the grant will help with supplies, t-shirts for the children, and snacks, along with increasing the capacity of the Lego Robotics program to 120 children in summer 2015.
“The grant takes the burden off so we can focus on sparking the children’s interest in learning,” Hart said.
Texarkana College and Texamac Inc. also partner to help build the local skilled workforce. Their Pay for Grades partnership offers financial incentives for area McDonald’s employees who earn college credits at Texarkana College.
RMHC’s mission is to improve the lives of children, and since 1995, the organization has awarded more than $925,000 in the Shreveport/Texarkana area. The funding for RMHC comes from the change boxes placed in every McDonald’s restaurant and from contributions made by purchasing Happy Meals. McDonald’s donates one cent for every Happy Meal it sells to the Ronald McDonald Foundation.
Submitted photo: (Left to right) James Henry Russell, Katie Andrus, Jason Sadowski, Kristi Hart, and Philip Mobley