Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman has announced that Holmes Middle School (Covington Independent) is a 2024 award recipient of the National Lieutenant Governors Association (NLGA) Lt. Governors’ STEM Scholarship Program. NLGA will award the school $1,000 as part of a national call for applications for funding STEM programming and curricula in schools.

“The introduction of hands-on opportunities in STEM can help blossom a lifelong interest in STEM principles,” said Coleman. “Working outdoors, learning concepts that can help students grow their own food, can foster a passion for STEM and an interest in the future careers of the 21st century.” 

Holmes Middle School is starting a garden, a combination of raised beds, container gardening and ground gardening, to teach students about gardening and nutrition. Holmes is an inner-city school whose students receive 100% free lunch, and many of whom live in food deserts. The garden will be part of the science curriculum for both the school year and the summer, and the school will offer a gardening class in the summer for students to maintain the garden and learn STEM skills. 

NLGA opened the application period for the STEM Scholarship Program in February 2024. The application process was competitive, with NLGA receiving more than 200 requests for STEM funding from schools in 28 states and territories. Twelve schools in 12 states and territories were awarded $500-1,000 for STEM-related expenses.

“As the seconds-in-command in state and territorial government, lieutenant governors are uniquely poised to lead on STEM education,” said NLGA Executive Director Julia Brossart. “By supporting STEM-related activities in schools across the country, we can encourage a long-term interest and passion in STEM education in America’s youth.” 

The Scholarship Program is administered by NLGA, the nonpartisan, nonprofit association for the nation’s seconds-in-command, and sponsored by ACT, the education and career readiness nonprofit.

“ACT is proud to once again sponsor this program,” ACT CEO Janet Godwin said. “ACT data shows that the current state of STEM readiness is cause for serious concern. ACT is uniquely poised to meet this moment, and working alongside NLGA, we are committed to ensuring that all students leave high school prepared to enter a world of evolving postsecondary and work opportunities, including through access to a high-quality STEM education.” 

Public, private and tribal schools serving pre-K through 12th-grade students in the 50 states and five U.S. territories were invited to apply for funding to support STEM-related activities, programming, curriculum, equipment, and other expenses. Funding will be provided to all winning schools in May.

Additional information on the STEM Scholarship Program can be found at the NLGA STEM website.