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Brighton school to use donation to buy iPads to help teach English, Math to kindergartners

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  February 26, 2013 01:41 PM

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Teachers at the Edison K-8 school in Brighton plan to use a recent donation to buy iPads and literacy software aimed at helping kindergarten students learn English and Math.

A charitable foundation established by attorneys at the Brown Rudnick law firm said awarded the school about $2,000 this month through the foundation’s “community grant” program.

The school plans to buy four iPads along with other accessories and software, which will be used in small groups to help students in the school’s Sheltered English Instruction class, according to the foundation.

“At our school, 37 percent of the population is categorized as English language learners, so our students’ individualized language needs are great,” Leslye Jones, one of the class’ teachers who applied for the grant, said, according to a statement from the foundation. “Having access to effective, often free software and online programs for English language learners will exponentially increase the resources available to us.”

The school plans to establish training sessions and peer support for teachers who want to try using iPads with their students, the statement said. School officials also plan to track and analyze how the technology is implemented to find out what works and what doesn’t.

“Recent studies have shown that technology-based education has definitive benefits to student learning,” said a statement from Al Wallis, executive director of the law firm’s charitable foundation.

“In addition to improved accessibility to instruction and courses, technology allows for individualized instruction to a student’s level of understanding,” he said. “Gifted and struggling students can advance at an individualized pace that does not leave them frustrated.”

The foundation said its grant program aims to subsidize “small, concrete projects to improve inner-city education” in Boston and several other cities.

The foundation recently awarded a similar grant to the Curley K-8 school in Jamaica Plain to purchase iPads and cases for four classrooms that serve children with autism through the Practical Academic Community Education program.

And, East Boston High School also recently received a grant from the foundation to support an educational and waste-reduction campaign for both the high school and Mario Umana Academy, officials said.

The foundation generally considers grant applications each month and awards up to $2,000 per month. For more information about the program, click here.

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