MASSENA - Following on the success of a similar effort last year at Jefferson Elementary School, Madison Elementary School will be purchasing 20 Smart Boards for their classrooms thanks to a grant from the Alcoa Foundation.
Madison Elementary School Principal Alan C. Oliver said they will be receiving a one-time payment of $51,000 from the Alcoa Foundation, which will be used early this fall to purchase materials to place the technology in the classrooms.
We will be purchasing 20 Smart Boards and all of the materials needed to utilize them in the classroom. Other materials being purchased are the LCD projectors needed, stands for the Smart Boards and the infrastructure needed to install. We were also able to secure a number of document cameras, which can be used in conjunction with the Smart Boards, Mr. Oliver said.
He said that, after Jefferson Elementary School Principal Duane L. Richards had successfully applied for an Alcoa Foundation grant last year, he decided to apply for his school this year. Jefferson Elementary School received $53,000 last year to add Smart Board technology in their classrooms. Twenty-three Jefferson Elementary classrooms will have the equipment after its phased in over a two-year period.
When Duane Richards successfully received the grant last summer it was clear that I would want to work to receive the same grant for Madison, Mr. Oliver said.
He touched based with Laurie A. Marr, Alcoa communications and public affairs manager, to get the ball rolling.
When the grant was reopened for application in the spring, a team of Madison teachers - Darcie Fregoe, Suzanne Thibault, William Webb, Adrienne Hartman, Kim Vallentgoed, Jackie Siddon and Lisa Burlingame - immediately began work to obtain this grant for Madison Elementary. Laurie Marr from the The Alcoa Foundation has been a great source of support and encouragement throughout the grant process. This support was very helpful to the grant writing process and her advice helped Madison become successful in this process. The staff and students of Madison Elementary owe Laurie Marr and the Alcoa Foundation a debt of gratitude, Mr. Oliver said.
He said the technology is a great tool in order to help deliver highly engaging instruction to our students, which will ultimately help them to meet the needs and rigor placed upon them by the Common Core Standards.
Ms. Marr said they were impressed with how Jefferson Elementary had used last years funding to engage students in the learning process.
Last year Duane Richards came to me with an idea and wondering if he could apply for a foundation grant. He talked about the need to have Smart Board technology in the classroom and what a difference he thought it could make, she said.
Once some of the technology was installed, Ms. Marr said she and other Alcoa representatives were invited to the school to see how teachers and students were using it.
We did and it was amazing. Kids were sitting close to the screen and touching it. The teachers were enthusiastic. It was a far cry from the old days when they would raise their hand, walk all the way up to the board and use chalk to write their answer, she said.
Ms. Marr said they also had an opportunity to talk with teachers at the end of the year about how the new technology had assisted them in their classrooms.
We heard just wonderful stories about how they had use it in their classroom and the ideas they had for using it in the coming year, she said.
A couple of teachers who were not enthusiastic about the new technology at the beginning of the year had become converts once they received the technology, she added.
Now its time to expand that technology into Madison Elementary School.
We thought, if we did this for one of the elementary schools and it was so successful, we wondered if other elementary schools already had Smart Board technology, Ms. Marr said.
She talked with Mr. Oliver and asked him if they had Smart Boards in their classrooms. He told her, No, but I want to talk to you about that.
I invited him to submit an application, Ms. Marr said.
He did, and the result was positive, with the technology scheduled to make its way into Madisons classrooms this year.