It seems a visit from the superintendent is good luck.
Just weeks after Jack Dale visited Terraset Elementary, the school received a Technology for Teaching grant worth $35,000 from Hewlett Packard.
“I was thrilled,” said Ellen Cury, principal at Terraset, talking about winning the grant, which was announced April 19. “The teachers involved worked very hard to put together a good program. I was very pleased to see the hard work that they did pay off for our children,” said Cury.
“It’s an incredible grant,” said Shane Wolfe, assistant principal at Terraset. One of three schools in Virginia to receive the grant and the only school in the county, Terraset will now have access to some powerful computer equipment. The grant includes five HP Tablet personal computers, five HP multimedia projectors, five HP digital cameras, an HP Officejet All-in-One and a $500 stipend per teacher. “The kids are very anxious to get involved,” Cury said.
“We are so excited about receiving the [grant],” said MaryAnne Capets, the teacher at Terraset that led the effort to apply for the grant. “Working under the tutelage of the HP experts to enhance teaching and learning is a tremendous honor.
“We’re excited about exploring [these technologies] and benefiting the students,” Capets said.
Liz Lertora, the school-based technology specialist at Terraset, said this is another example of teachers at the school who have embraced technology. “I think it’s a huge step forward to have this kind of technology coming in,” Lertora said. “I’m really honored that I’m going to be part of all this.”
EARLY THIS SCHOOL YEAR, Capets had spent time researching various technology grants when she found out about the HP grant.
“Principal Cury gave me a heads up on this grant,” said Capets. “I read it and thought it’d be pretty cool.”
Capets assembled four other teachers — Laura Bridgers, Jeanie Byrnes, Robin Bently and Ann Donovan — to make ready an application, which was submitted before the Feb. 15 due date.
A professional development program is also included with the grant and includes customized learning opportunities, expert mentoring and participation in an online community to support teachers’ use of technology.
“There is a big commitment to this,” said Capets. The five-member teacher team will dedicate two hours a week on top of their normal work hours to learn new ways of incorporating the benefits of the technology into the classroom. Cury said that if the grant is carried out well, then Terraset will be eligible to receive another grant from HP valued at $100,000.
HP’s Technology for Teaching grant program is designed to transform and improve learning in the classroom through innovative uses in technology. The program awards a total of $6.2 million in cash and equipment to teams of five teachers at 174 kindergarten-through-12th-grade public schools in the United States and Puerto Rico.