BWI Rotary Club Donates iPads to Park Elementary
Park Elementary students are gaining math and reading skills in new ways, thanks to local donors.
Hailey Furniss, a second-grader at Park Elementary School in Brooklyn Park, says she gets "super excited" when her class spends time learning on the school's new iPad tablets.
"It's kind of like butterflies inside of my stomach," Furniss told members of the local rotary club Monday morning, eliciting a chuckle from the school visitors.
This enthusiasm is exactly what local educators are trying to capitalize on, and thanks to area donors, they will have that technology to help kids embrace the learning process.
The BWI Rotary Club, based in Linthicum, donated $10,000 worth of Apple iPad tablets and devices that they hope will keep their students on the cutting edge of technology while effectively making use of their time in school.
"We don't look at it as [simply] buying iPads," said Peter Notari, treasurer of the rotary club. "We look at it as contributing to a literacy program, to advance a particular need."
Theresa Shay, a remedial reading teacher at Park Elementary, said bringing modern technology into the classroom not only engages the students, but also allows educators to take a more interactive approach to teaching. She said the automation of collecting scores and grades gives teachers a better idea of what each student needs.
"They have a very good idea of where those students are daily," Shay said. "When it comes to app selection and how they're going to bring it into a lesson, they know those specific needs so they're able to target the kids they're working with."
This is one of several donation programs organized by the rotary club for the school in Anne Arundel County, according to Notari. Past donations to Park Elementary students have included dictionaries and shoes.
"Our mission is to help advance education in the North County feeder school system," Notari said.
Personal donations and a couple of grants from Northrop Grumman and St. Christopher's Church Foundation earned them enough money to start another iPad program for another school in the future.
For more information about the BWI Rotary Club and their work in northern Anne Arundel County, visit their website.