Superintendent, Volunteers Help Craig Co. Schools

Craig Co., VA - Budget cuts have affected our public schools in a lot of different ways. One district decided the only way to get the job done right, and without spending money, was to do it themselves.

Craig County Schools have had very limited resources put into them in recent decades. That has led to a superintendent's innovative approach to prove to his students they are worth the investment. Superintendent Kelly Wilmore won't take no for an answer when it comes to the resources he needs to give Craig County's children the education he believes they deserve.

"It is different but it's one of those situations when you are dealt a hand then you reshuffle the deck and you come up with a new plan and that's what we did," said Wilmore.

The federal money is all but gone. State money is shrinking. And in a county with fewer than 6,000 residents, a tax increase to help fund a seven year plan didn't get the votes.

"I think it's disappointing that there's not the support to do it but I commend the superintendent for seeing it's getting done anyway," said community volunteer Jim Cady, Jr.

Cady has two children in the district. He is one of dozens of volunteers who have answered the superintendent's call by donating nearly a quarter of a million dollars in equipment, labor and material to help offset the costs. Together with the county adding a new roof and finally central air, Wilmore isn't interested in talking about what he didn't get as much as he wants to point out how the experience has changed the community.

"For us to be able to work together it is more sweet. Everyone's involved. Everyone is connected to it and we're not paying a group to come in here and do all of this... then we're having to do it but I think everyone appreciates it even more," said Wilmore.

There was a community workday Thursday, with another one scheduled for Saturday.