GILBERT — During the week of April 7-11, approximately 800 visitors toured projects at the Harless Community Center in Gilbert during the CEDAR (Coal Education Development and Resources) of Southern West Virginia Inc.’s 13th Regional Coal Fair.
At the Coal Fair, 213 projects were on display from students in K-12 grades that demonstrated their understanding of how coal is formed, mined, and transported, as well as how the industry affects their daily lives. Bus tours were scheduled from the participating counties to tour the projects on display. Several winning CEDAR students presented their projects for Tug Valley Mining Institute attendees.
Gary White, International Resource President and Chief Operating Officer, addressed the Tug Valley Mining Institute meeting held Thursday night, April 10, honoring and remembering the late James Buck Harless.
Over the 13-year period, CEDAR has provided 515 teachers with approximately $156,905 in grant money to utilize in their classroom teaching about the many benefits coal has to offer. Coal study units in Mingo, Logan, Boone, McDowell, Wyoming and Wayne counties have been involved 17,900 students. Also 4,712 projects have been created at the local school level. A total of $45,539 in cash prizes has been awarded to students for performance and $19,806 in cash prizes has been awarded to the school coal fair coordinators (teacher designated by school principal).
Exhibits were entered in seven categories: Art, English/Literature, Math, Music, Science, Social Studies and Technology/Multi Media. Each category is split into three grade levels (K-4), (5-8), and (9-12). In addition to the cash prizes awarded, the students gained a hands-on education in coal and found pride in their strong coal heritage.
To date, CEDAR and Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College have awarded $90,000 in scholarship monies to students from the participating counties.
CEDAR of Southern West Virginia, Inc. is an all-volunteer, not-for-profit corporation, which began as a partnership between the Coal Industry, Business Community, and Educators, created with the purpose of improving the image of the coal industry. CEDAR’s mission is to facilitate the increase of knowledge and understanding of the many benefits the Coal Industry provides in our daily lives by providing financial resources and coal education materials to implement its study in the school curriculum.