Special to Iredell Free News
The Dale Jr. Foundation, in conjunction with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Unilever’s United For America campaign, presented officials at two North Carolina elementary schools with donations on Wednesday to aid the schools in an effort to provide them with the means to improve the educational experience going forward.
The donations totaled $270,000, to be split equally between Allenbrook Elementary School in Charlotte and N.B. Mills Elementary School in Statesville, both of which are among the bottom 50 schools in the state based on end-of-grade mathematics, reading and science test scores released by the N.C. Department of Public Instruction.
Allenbrook’s donation will go toward technology needs and some much-needed building upgrades, while N.B. Mills will use its donation to improve technology and provide tutoring as well as building an adaptive play structure.
The Dale Jr. Foundation has focused on helping youth in underserved communities since its inception, and Earnhardt Jr.’s focus this year was on education. After some study, Allenbrook and N.B. Mills were chosen to receive the donations from TDJF and Unilever.
“One of the great things about doing initiatives like this is we can reach out to our partners like Unilever, and they are more than eager to be part of it,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “It really expands the impact that I can have, that our Foundation can have and our donors can have. When you have a brand like Unilever who is already active in communities across the country as it is, this is right in their lane.”
Unilever, a cornerstone partner of Earnhardt Jr. and JR Motorsports, has made the donations a part of its United for America campaign, which serves to inspire collective action to meet the essential needs of our hardest-hit communities during the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure a bright future is still within their reach. Those goals align perfectly with The Dale Jr. Foundation’s long-held mission of giving underprivileged individuals, with a focus on youth, the resources to improve their confidence and education and the opportunity to achieve extraordinary goals.
N.B. Mills Elementary School Principal Jonathan Nicastro said the school will be able to expand the scope of technology for his students and teachers as well as build important infrastructure for students with disabilities.
“When they came and presented the check, it was ten times what I was expecting, and I couldn’t believe it. I was really excited. It is like a godsend,” Nicastro said. “We want to put Apple TVs in each of the classrooms so that teachers can connect wirelessly, and we’ll do more training to figure out how to utilize that. One of the things I’ve wanted to get going is an after-school tutoring project, and I can expand those plans now into every grade level. We’ll put in a whole new play structure as well. It’s a game-changer. This is a partnership now. We can make an impact on our curriculum, the perception of our school and the atmosphere and excitement for N.B. Mills. It’s amazing.”
Earnhardt Jr., The Dale Jr. Foundation and Unilever, through its United for America campaign, combined to make a real difference for two schools in need of assistance as part of the larger goal to improve confidence and education in local communities.
ABOUT THE DALE JR. FOUNDATION
The Dale Jr. Foundation is a charity dedicated to giving underprivileged individuals with a focus on youth, the resources to improve their confidence and education, and the opportunity to achieve extraordinary goals. The Dale Jr. Foundation has made a monumental impact in the local community since its beginning. Dedicated to giving underprivileged individuals, with a focus on youth, the resources to achieve extraordinary goals, TDJF has contributed to more than 300 charities nationally and locally, including The Make-A-Wish Foundation, Blessings in a Backpack, Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Ace and TJ’s Grin Kids, and Mooresville Christian Mission. For more information, visit www.thedalejrfoundation.org.