• 59°

Schools receive $62,500 CyberCamp grant

Cumberland County Schools have been selected to receive a $62,500 grant to increase cybersecurity awareness.

“I am pleased and excited that we have been selected as one of the locations for Virginia CyberCamp 2016,” said Dr. Amy Griffin, Cumberland’s superintendent of schools. “It is important that we increase awareness of cybersecurity careers and build the pipeline to meet Virginia’s cybersecurity workforce demands.”

Grant monies will be used for meals, camp staff, bus transportation, professional development and additional expenses, according to the Virginia Department of Education.

“The CyberCamp goals are to increase awareness of careers in cybersecurity among teachers and students, introduce students and teachers to cybersecurity-related industry credentials and provide students a foundation in which they can pursue a certification

during the upcoming school year,” the release stated.

Dr. Elizabeth Jamerson and Dr. Chip Jones wrote the grant, receiving assistance from Cumberland High School Principal Jeffrey Scales.

Jameson said she will provide division support for the project’s core implementation team.

The Department of Education press release stated that the program is geared towards high schools in challenged school divisions.

“This simply means that the school has 50 percent or more of its students eligible for free and reduced price meals,” Jamerson said.

Citing statistics provided by the VDOE, Jamerson there are approximately 17,000 cybersecurity jobs vacant within Virginia. The cybercamp is a response for the growing demand for jobs in the industry.

“The program is designed to engage students in project-driven, hands-on learning and will provide a total of 70 hours of instructional time,” said Jamerson. “As part of the program, students will hear from experts in the field and go on field trips to see cybersecurity in action. The program will utilize curriculum developed by the National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center.”

Jamerson said the program will be open to rising tenth, eleventh and twelfth graders that have an interest in cybersecurity or have started a program of study related to cybersecurity.

Jamerson said the division is currently seeking staff members to be a part of the initiative.

A total of 32 camps will be held across the state.

The Department of Education said all camps would occur between May-August 2016.