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Lottery creates school hero programs

RALEIGH – A program is underway to recognize N.C. School Heroes — those who help students achieve their dreams — with awards of $10,000 to 10 individuals and $10,000 to their schools.

The N.C. Education Lottery created the program as part of its support of public education in North Carolina and to help raise awareness of how the money raised by the lottery benefits the state.

“Every school has their heroes,” said Mark Michalko, executive director of the N.C. Education Lottery. “Every day they stop at nothing to help our students achieve their dreams. This year, we’re proud to offer to North Carolinians a chance to say, in a big collective way, thanks for all of what they do.”

The website ncschoolheroes.com, allows people to post a story about their School Hero and a photo, then vote on the ones they like best. North Carolinians have until March 31 to post a nomination or vote for their favorites.

More than 1,300 nominations have already been posted at the N.C. School Heroes website, with at least one from 86 of the state’s 100 counties. Many more are expected over the coming weeks. Thousands of votes have been cast for the most popular School Hero stories.

Money raised by the lottery assists many of those School Heroes, including $385 million this year that supports the work of school support staff such as office assistants and custodians. This year, additional money raised by the lottery is helping to build and repair schools, supporting the N.C. Pre-K program for at-risk 4-year-olds, providing college scholarships and grants based on financial need, and supporting school transportation.

All 100 counties of the state get support for education programs from money raised by the lottery. Last year, the lottery raised more than $670 million for public education.

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