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Local magnet school misses out on grant, wins another

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A New Hanover County school just lost out on potentially winning a $2 million grant and is now looking for additional funding to help improve its programs. Rachel Freeman Elementary is one of two new magnet schools in the county. And despite missing the deadline for that grant, administrators say they expect to have a stellar program. Last month Freeman Elementary tried to apply for a multi-million dollar federal grant, but missed the deadline by mere minutes. Principal Elizabeth Miars says the funding would have been great, but the money won't make or break the program. The school has applied for four other grants, in hopes of boosting its programs. "When you buy a lottery ticket, you don't automatically assume that you're going to win. You go on living life and you plan with what you can afford. Winning a magnet school grant would be like winning the lottery and all of sudden you have the money to do things that you couldn't have done otherwise," Miars said. In addition to funding from the county school board, Miars says the Freeman has snagged more money. This week, the school received one of the four grants -- a $10,000 stipend from General Electric. Administrators say the G.E. grant will help purchase new equipment, create a new reading program and pay real engineers to help out in the classroom. Freeman's school of engineering officially opens in the fall.

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