Hyde County Educational Foundation awarded Outer Banks Community Foundation grant

Published 7:58 am Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The Hyde County Educational Foundation has announced it has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the Outer Banks Community Foundation to help cover expenses associated with architectural drawings for the teacher and workforce housing project on Ocracoke Island.

The State of North Carolina has set aside funds to assist with building teacher housing. As the costs of real estate rise across the state, it is getting harder to recruit and retain teachers and school staff, noted a Hyde County Schools news release. This program will help school districts across the state address this urgent need for housing.

“Hyde County is, unfortunately, no exception to this problem, with limited land, no available yearly rentals, and rising real estate prices on the island of Ocracoke, teachers and other essential workers have been priced out of being able to afford to accept positions with the School System and other community service oriented positions,” stated the release. “The mainland also faces housing shortages, with staff often facing long commute times and an aging housing stock. The Hyde County Educational Foundation (HCEF) believes that teachers and staff should be able to live and be a part of the communities they serve and have begun working to solve this problem.”

Get the latest headlines sent to you

The HCEF acquired the former Ocracoke Child Care Building in October 2023. The group will be eligible for a zero interest bond to begin construction as soon as architecture plans are submitted.  With this grant from the Outer Banks Community Foundation, HCEF is halfway to its goal of raising the funds to pay for the plans.

Hyde County Schools Superintendent Dr. Melanie R. Shaver reiterated that “ensuring our educators have stable and affordable housing is paramount to cultivating a thriving learning environment. The support from the Outer Banks Community Foundation underscores our shared commitment to providing our teachers and staff with the resources they need not only to teach but also to live and thrive within the communities they serve. This grant represents a significant step forward in our efforts to address the housing challenges educators face in Hyde County,” the release continued.

Shaver added “we are immensely grateful for the partnership and generosity of the Outer Banks Community Foundation in helping us realize this important initiative.”

The Outer Banks Community Foundation (OBCF) was established in the early 1980s to serve the communities of the Outer Banks from Corolla to Ocracoke. Today the Community Foundation manages more than 200 different charitable endowments, including unrestricted, donor-advised, designated, scholarship and field of interest funds. The Community Foundation has helped donors give back over $12,000,000 in grants and scholarships to meet needs on the Outer Banks. HCEF board member and grant writer Sara Teaster worked with the OBCF through the Community Enrichment Grants program to secure these funds for the project.

The HCEF will continue to look for grant funding to assist with the “Building Homes, Building Community, Building Futures” project, and hopes to have construction begin late spring/early summer 2024.

As a part of this building project, and to honor the original mission of the Ocracoke Child Care board who donated their building to our project, the Ocracoke School expanded the pre-school program to include 3-year-olds starting in the fall.