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BB&T makes $500,000, five-year commitment to fund 'Ron Clark Academy Training Day' for teachers

Funding opens doors for 100 North Carolina educators in program's first year

Dec 11, 2018

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., Dec. 11, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of its commitment to advancing education and leadership, BB&T Corporation (NYSE: BBT) has made a $500,000 grant to the Ron Clark Academy to host an annual "BB&T Ron Clark Academy Teacher Training Day."

The grant to Atlanta's highly acclaimed private, nonprofit middle school made an inaugural "Training Day" available this fall to 100 deserving teachers from North Carolina. And BB&T anticipates the grant will make the annual one-of-a-kind educational experience available through 2022 for teachers throughout the bank's 15-state footprint.

In addition to being internationally lauded for the way it educates students with academic rigor, passion and creativity, and attracting attention from such prominent supporters as media mogul and long-time education advocate Oprah Winfrey, The Ron Clark Academy is also an educator training facility. Since 2007, over 45,000 teachers, administrators and superintendents have participated in the school's professional development programs to learn how to replicate its philosophy and student engagement model in their own schools.

Initially announced in November 2017 at the academy's 10-year anniversary celebration, BB&T put the grant into action by hosting the first "Training Day" at the academy on Oct. 12, 2018. According to participant Glenn Starnes, principal at Gibson Elementary School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, it was a game-changing experience.

"Attending the training was an amazing opportunity," Starnes said. "I've worked at three different schools, and I've never seen anything like the Ron Clark Academy. As educators, we want to bring our very best to our students. Through this program, we were able to experience what excellence looks and sounds like and bring that understanding back to our classrooms."

BB&T covers training, transportation, lodging and other expenses for educators from schools that primarily serve low-income and at-risk populations and demonstrate a commitment to applying innovative approaches for student success. Throughout the "Training Day," participants observe academy teachers in action, attend workshops on teaching practices and family involvement, and learn how to make magic happen in the classroom. Teachers at the academy lead highly participative training filled with excitement and energy – lots of walking on desks, dancing and music – as visiting educators learn creative techniques to promote student engagement while maintaining a culture that emphasizes high expectations, manners, respect and discipline.

"The Ron Clark Academy unlocks the potential of everyone who walks through its doors, so we are very proud to partner with them to provide an amazing experience that will inspire teachers who will, in turn, inspire students throughout our communities," said BB&T Georgia Regional President Heath Campbell. "Our hope is when educators experience the academy, they return to their classrooms feeling empowered, supported and encouraged to be better teachers, as well as better leaders, coaches and community members. This grant reflects BB&T's ongoing commitment to education and programs that create positive change and make the world a better place to live."

To encourage ongoing learning, BB&T also gave all participants copies of the academy's book and workbook titled "The Essential 55: An Award-Winning Educator's Rules for Discovering the Successful Student in Every Child." In addition, BB&T will provide financial education to participants to better equip them to teach students and families about the skills they need to manage financial resources wisely.

To learn more about BB&T's commitment to education and its partnership with the Ron Clark Academy, please visit

About BB&T
BB&T is one of the largest financial services holding companies in the U.S. with $222.9 billion in assets and market capitalization of approximately $37.4 billion as of September 30, 2018. Building on a long tradition of excellence in community banking, BB&T offers a wide range of financial services including retail and commercial banking, investments, insurance, wealth management, asset management, mortgage, corporate banking, capital markets and specialized lending. Based in Winston-Salem, N.C., BB&T operates more than 1,900 financial centers in 15 states and Washington, D.C. and is consistently recognized for outstanding client service by Greenwich Associates for small business and middle market banking. More information about BB&T and its full line of products and services is available at

SOURCE BB&T Corporation

For further information: Brian Davis, Senior Vice President, BB&T Corporate Communications,

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