Greene County September 2023


County Seat
Snow Hill

Median Income

Population Density Designation

“We believe that the willingness to succeed must come before the ability to succeed.” That’s how leaders of Greene County Schools describe their approach to learning.

Greene County Schools’ vision is to be a model 21st-century school system focused on student inquiry learning in order for all students to graduate prepared for college, the workforce and life as global citizens. A visit to the school system’s tech center in Snow Hill (about halfway between Raleigh and New Bern) on Blue Cross NC’s Extra Miles Tour confirmed it’s a vision well on the way to being made real.

STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) Education initiatives are at the heart of Greene County Schools’ strategy to help students – and their families – reach their potential. In addition to providing instruction about STEM-related careers, the curriculum helps students develop multicultural relationships within teams to collaboratively solve problems by acquiring skills suitable for today’s economy. Valuable life lessons are imparted along the way, with a focus on the benefits of collaboration.

As many children begin school already behind on learning metrics, STEM Education begins early here, with offerings intended for pre-kindergarten children. As part of the system’s family literacy program, parents and their children participate in learning activities at school, with parents receiving training to become their children’s first teachers. Career awareness content begins in fifth grade, including a Careers on Wheels event that allows students to literally climb all over police cars, fire trucks and farming equipment. Work-based learning opportunities include tours of local businesses, internships, apprenticeships and job shadowing to give students a firsthand look at what working life is like.

A series of camps for students in grades 6-12 provides insights into careers in health sciences, agriculture, culinary arts and robotics. Career-focused learning is the focus of Greene County Early College High School, where students can earn credits toward an associate’s degrees or receive certificates for everything from business to welding. And at Greene Early College, the priority is placed on students who are hardworking and focused on the future rather than on previous academic performance.

Representatives from myFutureNC, a nonprofit committed to closing educational attainment gaps in North Carolina, spoke about targeting Black and Hispanic males for post-secondary enrollment growth. The organization’s outreach is seeing progress, as the share of Greene County’s population holding a postsecondary degree or credential climbed by more than 5% between 2018 and 2021.

In conjunction with myFutureNC, four community colleges in the area – James Sprung Community College, Lenoir Community College, Sampson Community College and Wayne Community College – are collaborating on a two-year project called Train the East, which aims to recruit, train and support students from Latino communities in rural Eastern North Carolina to build a stronger skilled workforce in the region.

These kinds of investments in students’ willingness to succeed are seeing a return in the form of an ability to succeed.

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U39702, 11/23