By Melanie Petrucci, Contributing Writer
Shrewsbury – Jim DuPont, CEO of Shrewsbury Federal Credit Union (SFCU), paid a visit to Mary Beth Leifer’s fourth-grade classroom at the Walter J. Paton Elementary School Oct. 18.
Accompanied by Shrewsbury Public Schools’ Superintendent, Dr. Joseph Sawyer, DuPont witnessed the classroom’s use of iPads as part of the expansion of the Shrewsbury Colonial Fund’s Fourth-grade Digital Classroom Initiative pilot program. SFCU is a sponsor and partner of the program.
“We are very happy to sponsor the Colonial Fund, we’ve been doing it for a couple of years now and it’s great today to see the money in action with the iPads that they are using and we were fortunate to help fund them,” DuPont said. “It appears that they are really adding to the experience of the kids and their schools.”
According the Colonial Fund’s website, there are two fourth-grade classrooms at Floral and one at Calvin Coolidge, Paton and Spring Street elementary schools participating in the Digital Classroom Initiative pilot program. Each classroom was given one iPad for every two students last spring, in an effort to determine how to improve student access to technology at the elementary level. This year, an additional iPads were purchased for each elementary school.
“I think it opens a world of possibilities for 21st century skills and collaborate with people even outside the school building,” Paton School Principal Wendy Bell said. “I know some of the teachers have been Skyping and using the iPads for working together in groups to learn the skills of compromise and communicating effectively.”
SFCU is again donating $5,000 and has challenged the Colonial Fund to raise an additional $5,000, which they will match.
“We are so pleased that Shrewsbury Federal Credit Union is once again partnering with us as our Innovation Partner for the Colonial Fund,” Sawyer said. “These are investments that we wouldn’t be able make without this funding stream and the innovative work that it has yielded is improving education for kids in Shrewsbury and we are very appreciative of their generosity.”
The Colonial Fund supports innovations within the district that would not otherwise be funded. For more information, visit http://schools.shrewsburyma.gov/district/contact-us.cfm.