The Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament has donated $50,000 to The Hill Center [1]of Durham, N.C. in support of a reading intervention program for Carteret County Public Schools’ most struggling students. This gift expands a project established in the 2015-16 school year, wherein Carteret County beta-tested The Hill Center’s Hill Learning System (HLS), and allows the program to reach more students and support more teachers through the purchase of 90 iPads.

The HLS is a technology-enabled model for delivering the Hill Reading Achievement Program (HillRAP), a comprehensive solution for teaching struggling learners to read. Comprised of a classroom instructional application, a blended learning teacher professional development platform, and data analysis and reporting, the HLS integrates tablets and the web to support student learning and teacher training, further enhancing the HillRAP experience and improving student outcomes. With the generous gift from Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament, 15 Carteret County Public School System teachers will now be equipped with teacher iPads and 75 student iPads that will used by 180 students to access the HillRAP program.

"The support our school system continually receives from the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament is greatly appreciated," Carteret County Board of Education Chair Perry Harker said. "This most recent donation from Big Rock was used to purchase iPads that will further The Hill Center intervention program for struggling readers. Big Rock puts priority on supporting young people and that is commendable." The Carteret County Public School System [2] and The Hill Center have a partnership history dating back to 2005, when Carteret became one of more than twenty school districts who implement the Hill Reading Achievement Program (HillRAP). Over the last ten years, this partnership has been sustained through the generosity of local donors as well as the Carteret County Public School Foundation.

“This partnership epitomizes community collaboration. A non-profit organization, a school system, and private donors can work together for the good of their students,” said Bucky Oliver, project supporter and founder of Front Street Village. “We must come together as residents and business leaders to support our public schools. It is imperative for the future of Carteret County and the entire state of North Carolina that every child learns to read.”

The new iPads were donated to Bogue Sound Elementary where Big Rock Board Member, Tommy Bennett, and Tournament Director, Crystal Hesmer, interacted with students and staff during a visit on Thursday. For more information visit The Hill Center News [3].