2012-05-03 / Youth

EDUCATION NOTES

Grants enable high tech
PAT NELSON

On Thursday, April 19, I, along with other Port Aransas ISD administrators, had the privilege of meeting with four members of the executive board of the Port Aransas Education Foundation (PAEF). This meeting was very informative because I learned how decisions are made as to what grants are granted by the foundation and which ones are not.

After spending some time as a grant reader and rater in my previous school district, I know how hard it is to make those decisions and still stay within a budget.

I would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to the PAEF for the generous grants given this year to the teachers and staff of Port Aransas ISD. These grants will enhance the instructional environment and programs across all the campuses.

Speaking for H. G. Olsen Elementary, I cannot say enough to express the excitement our teachers felt from the grants they received. The iPads have given a spark and a challenge to the pre-k through second grade teachers as to how they will be implementing them into their lessons for the children.

This group of teachers had already begun to use their personal iPads in small group reading and writing sessions.

The children love being able to interact with technology! The classroom environment on today’s elementary campus does not look anything close to what the classrooms looked like when we were kids, and for me that’s been quite a while.

Classes today are using tables instead of desks and no one sits in rows anymore. So you can just imagine what classrooms look like now with students using iPads to learn to read, do research and just about anything we used books for in the past.

We appreciate the endless amount of time and the effort the PAEF members put into raising money for our school district’s grants. Also, for those generous individuals who, year after year, open their check books and write a check to enable our teachers to dream and be creative in implementing instructional methods and programs that keep our students engaged and motivated to learn, we thank you so very much!

Our school district’s educational budgets continue to be cut by the State of Texas even though our Port Aransas property tax funds continue to be sent to Austin, all because of the “Robin Hood” plan to fund Texas public education. If it weren’t for the PAEF, our allotted school budgets would never be able to keep up with the new instructional trends that supplement and enhance the education of the Port Aransas children.

After all, it is our children of today who will be tomorrow’s successfully employed adults.

Thank you PAEF! You rock!

Pat Nelson is principal of H.G. Olsen Elementary School.

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