Citizen Potawatomi Nation continues to give back to communities in and around its jurisdiction in Pottawatomie County. Recently, McLoud Public Schools’ students received a donation of 300 sets of headphones compatible with their Google Chromebooks.

The Chromebooks allow individual students to work on a wide array of projects while in class, from creating interactive assignments to research and taking assessments. Teachers at McLoud Jr. High informed Principal Melanne Greenwood that their students weren’t able to use all the tablets’ capabilities due to a lack of headphones.

“We spent our money on the technology, and then in the first week, we realized kids weren’t able to access all of the functions without the sound being on loudly,” Greenwood said. “And most of our students did not own headphones of their own.”

Seeking to solve the issue, Greenwood put out a call on her private Facebook page for help in securing headphones.

“Someone mentioned that FireLake Discount Foods might have them for a cheaper price to purchase. I am a CPN Tribal member and know many that work at FireLake, and I thought I might reach out to see if there could be a possibility to help,” Greenwood said.

A few calls later, FireLake Express McLoud Manager Jason Boyce was on the phone with one of his suppliers in search of a solution.

“Education in this state is always in need of support, and one of the main ways FireLake gives back is by helping teachers equip their classrooms with the tools they need,” said Richard Driskell, FireLake Foods director.

He reached out to Lynco Products, a vendor for FireLake, who offered 300 sets of headphones, worth approximately $1,500.

The relationship between the community of McLoud and Citizen Potawatomi Nation is a close one. Amongst the many Tribal members and employees who live in the community, McLoud Public Schools is a recipient of a donation each quarter from Tribal sales taxes collected through CPN-owned enterprises. As of August 2019, CPN sales taxes contributed more than $6,500 to the district.

In recent months, both McLoud fire and police dispatching services have been picked up by the Pottawatomie County 911 authority, which serves all areas of the county outside of the city of Shawnee. The Nation provides funding for the 911 center, saving local municipalities the fees usually paid to county emergency dispatch centers in other parts of Oklahoma. In the summer of 2019, CPN Emergency Management officials worked to complete an emergency dispatch tower located just north of FireLake Express Grocery McLoud to improve coverage for the community for first responders.