Officials at St. Pius X School in Loudonville recently received a $33,965 grant from the John E. Sackett Foundation.
The funds have allowed the school to purchase a mobile technology lab featuring 30 state-of-the-art Dell laptop computers with wireless Internet access, a SMART Board interactive whiteboard, a laptop cart for docking and recharging the laptops, an LCD projector, a stylus pen and printers.
I was thrilled when I learned we had received such a generous grant, said St. Pius X School Principal Dennis Mullahy. "Although our 600 students already have access to an outstanding technology department, this donation is a beautiful addition for both students and teachers and enables technology to be integrated into all subjects in all grade levels on a daily basis."
Theresa Reid, St. Pius X School technology director, said the mobile lab essentially adds a third technology lab to the school and gives St. Pius students in pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade even more access to computers and the world around them.
"If a social studies teacher wants his class to simultaneously conduct research on the Civil War, he can now have the mobile lab wheeled into the classroom during that period," she said. "Students and teachers can use the laptops in the classroom for writing, planning, drafting, and editing presentations, Internet research and accessing educational software.
"There are so many other useful applications from this grant," stressed Reid. "The stylus pen can draw diagrams for kids who prefer a more visual learning approach, while the SMART Board can also be used to show different positions on a basketball court or even draw musical notes and rests and their values."
Reid, who won the Albany-Colonie Chamber of Commerce's Tech Valley Innovative Educator Award in 2006, noted that several studies suggest educational benefits related to laptop use such as increased student motivation and a higher level of student academic achievement.
Patrick J. Fitzgerald, an attorney for the John E. Sackett Foundation, said the mobile lab will be a "wonderful addition" to the school's existing technology labs.
"It will open up so many doors for students in so many fields of study," he said. "Opportunities that will be made available by this grant will also help to further the legacy of John Sackett, a former superintendent of the Rensselaer-Columbia-Greene County BOCES, who was an incredibly dedicated and inspired educational leader in New York state.""