Rotary presents cheque for school laptops The club presented a cheque for $8,000 and the Excellence in Education Foundation added a $2,000 contribution to purchase 20 laptops for sixth-grade classrooms.

From left are Rotary President Rich Wandling, laptop project chairman Mike Watts, school district technology director Mary Ann Pattenaud, Jefferson School sixth-grade teachers Cathy Harrell and Tara Morgan, Jefferson principal Rob Ulm, Superintendent Todd Vilardo and Excellence in Education Foundation president Tim Hutti.
From left are Rotary President Rich Wandling, laptop project Chairman Mike Watts, school district technology Director Mary Ann Pattenaud, Jefferson School sixth-grade teachers Cathy Harrell and Tara Morgan, Jefferson Principal Rob Ulm, Superintendent Todd Vilardo and Excellence in Education Foundation President Tim Hutti.

Sixth-grade students at Jefferson Elementary School will have use of individual laptop computers with help from the Charleston Rotary Club (Illinois, US — District 6490) and the Excellence in Education Foundation.

Rotary presented a cheque for $8,000 and the Excellence in Education Foundation added a $2,000 contribution to purchase 20 laptops for sixth-grade classrooms.

The Charleston school district is purchasing an additional 15 laptops.

The Charleston Rotary Club recently presented cheques for $10,000 to the Charleston school district to assist the district with technology needs in the classroom.

“We are grateful to the Excellence in Education Foundation and Rotary for this donation,” said Todd Vilardo, Charleston schools superintendent.

Vilardo said most people are aware of how state funding has been reduced which has impacted technology spending.

“We don’t have enough equipment for all the sixth-graders,” Vilardo said. “This will allow for all sixth-grade students to use the laptops.”

Mary Ann Pattenaud, the school district’s technology director, said students in grades 7-12 currently have access to Microsoft Office 365.

The district expanded access to sixth-grade students this past school year but sixth-grade students have just three stationary labs that they share with fourth- and fifth-graders.

With the two donations and school district money, the district will purchase 35 laptops for sixth-grade use this coming school year.

This donation is the second in a three-year commitment by Rotary to help Charleston schools “bridge the technology gap.”

Prior to the 2016-17 school year, Rotary and the Excellence in Education Foundation provided more than $10,000 to purchase two SMART Tables for kindergarten students’ use at Mark Twain and Ashmore Elementary Schools.

Rotary Pancake Day in April helps fund the technology project.

A Rotary committee will meet with school officials to determine what technology project will be funded for the 2018-19 school year.

Source: Journal Gazette & Times Courier

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