To ensure our students are prepared for the future, technology needs to be in the classroom. A private donation to the Cherry Creek Schools Foundation has helped classrooms at Village East Elementary School have the tools needed to make the future bright.
A large grant was given to the school last year and used to purchase new iPads for the school as well as the needed technology to increase Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) courses.
"We were able to buy a mobile cart, about 30 iPads, and that has increased our numbers of iPads and notebooks to about 500,"said Village East Principal John Cramer.
This gives the school nearly a 1-to-1 ratio of iPads and Notebooks to students. The technology carts provide easy storage, charging and transportation of iPads and Notebooks, allowing teachers more freedom to incorporate their functions in the classroom.
For teachers, it gives them another opportunity to engage the kids. Beatrice Arteaga-Rollins has been teaching first grade at Village East for 12 years and said that she tries to use technology every day in her lessons.
"They really enjoy it. It's motivating for kids," according to Arteaga-Rollins. "Technology always seems to get them going, so we try to incorporate it as much as we can into the curriculum."
Village East has a diverse student body, and the iPads are a major component in helping students hone their English language skills.
"It's a huge piece in helping their vocabulary; it gets kids hearing the words," said Cramer. "We have a program called myON Reader; they can read and hear the words and that helps tremendously."
Principal Cramer adds that this is a monumental gift to the students and teachers. It has given them the chance to do more research than ever in the classroom.
"The benefit of the grant is that we are now able to give a cart to each grade level, which means that instead of 16 teachers looking for time on the carts it is now five or six teachers."
The Foundation and Village East Elementary School are extremely grateful to our local business community for enabling us to work together to make a difference in the lives of our students.