Grant to 'Bridge Digital Divide' Sought by Watchung Schools
Application is for funds that would provide tools for at-risk students.
Watchung Schools will launch a program aimed at giving students without newer technology tools experience on using tablet computers and ereaders, if a grant application is approved.
The application seeks $2,500 from the Somerset County Youth Services Commission for a "Bridging the Technology Divide," a proposed after-school program for at-risk students, Superintendent Barbara Resko said at the Oct. 10 board of education meeting.
The program would provide Internet and social media safety training to students, in addition to educational projects and games using iPads, ereaders, classroom Smartboards and other tools.
She said teachers have noticed students who don't have access to the tools either because of financial hardship or an because they can't access the library's facilities are often stunned when they see the new tools.
"The intent of this prohgram is to rpoivide at-risk students with the opportunity to use a variety of tevchnooloy tools—the ereaders, the iPads—
"What we have noticed in classrooms is that stduents who do not have access to these etools, they're like in awe when teachers (show them)," Dr. Resko said. "The kids just stand there because it's so new and so novel."
Having the opportunity to use tablet computers or ereaders in the after-school class would "put them on par with their peers," she said.
The district will know whether or not the grant application was approved before the end of the month, with the program set to launch right away.