House Speaker Joe Hackney has donated a $10,000 leadership prize he won last year to the school that taught him the three Rs.
The money goes to Silk Hope Elementary School in Chatham County to build an outdoor classroom and dining space, and to purchase a new projector and screen. The school has 440 students and recently celebrated its 100th anniversary.
Hackney, an Orange County Democrat, grew up on a farm near Silk Hope and graduated from its public school in 1963, which then served grades 1-12.
The money comes from the National Conference of State Legislatures and the State Legislative Leadership Foundation, who awarded Hackney with the 2007 Excellence in State Legislative Leadership Award. The money is intended to go to the winner's charity of choice.
“Silk Hope School played an important part in my life and in helping to make me a leader,” Hackney said in a news release. “I think it’s more than appropriate that I try to pass that gift on to the children who are there now.”