News Releases

The Sallie Mae Fund Awards $15,000 Grant to Mount Laurel School District

The Sallie Mae Fund announced the following news release:

NEWARK, Del., Feb. 1, 2012 — The Sallie Mae Fund, a charitable organization sponsored by Sallie Mae dedicated to increasing access to higher education for American students, announced a $15,000 grant to Mount Laurel School District, located in Mount Laurel, N.J., to expand its Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) initiative to sixth-grade students next year.

"We are ecstatic to receive this news," said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Antoinette Rath. "We started our STEM Program last year at grades five, seven and eight. The Sallie Mae Fund Grant will allow us to extend this exciting educational opportunity to our sixth-graders next year also.

"Utilizing Lego MindStorm Robotics, Mount Laurel's sixth-graders will experience mechanical design, construction, programming and teamwork skills in the new curriculum. Students will build robots and program them via computer to move, react and make sounds to solve challenges. Local, regional, national and international robotics competitions," said Dr. Rath, "will allow students to test their product and their knowledge in a wider arena."

The Sallie Mae Fund is a charitable organization sponsored by Sallie Mae. Its mission — to increase college access for America's students — is achieved by supporting programs and initiatives that help open doors to higher education. The Fund supports communities where Sallie Mae employees live and work, and has contributed more than $123 million in grants since its inception.

"It is well documented," said Dr. Rath, "that students exposed to engineering and computer sciences at an early age are more likely to follow this track throughout high school and pursue STEM-based college degrees. Since the inception of our program last year, we have witnessed tremendous interest on the part of students.

"Offering four years of STEM education prior to high school gives our students the added exposure necessary," she added, "to compete in the workforce of the future. This expansion would not have been possible without the generosity of The Sallie Mae Fund. We are very grateful."