SMITHFIELD, Va. – Smithfield Foods Inc. is doing its part to support the schools in the communities where its employees live and work. A $3 million donation to Isle of Wight County Schools will fund an innovative and multifaceted education program called the Smithfield Foods Legacy Project, and will benefit both Smithfield and Windsor high schools.
“We’re incredibly grateful for Smithfield’s donation and the capital improvements it will provide to our area schools,” said Dr. Jim Thornton, superintendent of Isle of Wight County Schools. “This project will help us better train our students to think critically and collaborate effectively during their education and throughout their careers, and would not have been possible without this generous support from Smithfield Foods.”
“Whether students are continuing their education or entering the workforce, we are committed to helping them prepare for the future and make that next step a successful transition,” said Kenneth M. Sullivan, president and CEO of Smithfield Foods. “We are confident that this innovative project will lead to a life-changing experience for students as we have seen how nurturing new ideas — big and small — continues to transform Smithfield into a leading global food company.”
The program at Smithfield High School is designed to help prepare students for their college and professional careers, as well as ensuring they are active members in their community. The program includes:
- MakerSpace, a state-of-the-art facility that will give students the opportunity to conduct research as well as design and develop products. The facility will contain 3D printers and other technologies to offer a collaborative, hands-on learning environment for students to prepare for college.
- Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) fieldhouse for Smithfield High School’s JROTC program. The new facility provides ample classroom space and equipment storage as well as room for drill and competition practice.
- Multipurpose Pavilion for hosting academic ceremonies and joint school-community events. Students will be able to use the space for presentations, exhibitions and gatherings that foster community engagement.
“Smithfield Foods has been a strong, longtime supporter of our school,” said Casey Roberts, principal of Smithfield High School. “Smithfield’s extraordinary gift brings a one-of-a-kind project to life that will help us better prepare our community’s youth for their next chapter.”