|Posted on 3/6/2017 7:18:00 AM.|
(Seguin) -- After school just got hi-tech for one Seguin ISD elementary school. Thanks to IGT's After School Advantage Program, Koennecke Elementary School students, particularly those who participant in the city of Seguin's Parks and Recreation's JAAM Program, have 30 new iPAD Pros.
At the heart of helping to bring the $30,000 worth of technology to the local campus was School Librarian Michelle Kuempel. Kuempel, who submitted a grant application for the award, says the technology just seemed like a natural fit for the campus who participates in the Jammin After-School Adventures for Me program. She says thanks to the iPad Pros, the kids' instructional time becomes more creative.
"Thank you IGT for giving us this opportunity to have these iPads for our after school programs here at Koennecke. We wanted to do the iPads for a variety of reasons. Our after school programs -- we have them set up in the gym and in the cafeteria and this allows us some more portability and the kids really -- you see them today -- just hop on, they know exactly what to do with them so we'd like to use these to extend our curriculum support in the afternoon and also provide some recreation time and of course, we are looking forward to starting some new programs here at Koennecke -- hopefully maybe some sort of media club were we learn about iMovie and other applications like that as well as supporting our robotics club, our science club and all the other opportunities that we have here after school," said Kuempel.
The iPads were recently presented to the school by IGT General Manager Joseph Lapinski. Lapinski says this is the first time his company has equipped a school with iPAD Pros, a more advanced piece of technology. He says the After School Program (ASA) is the company's efforts to address the needs of children during the critical after school hours. He says the program "strives to close the digital divide for disadvantaged children who get left behind because they do not have the means to access computers in today's increasingly digital society."
"What IGT does, we supply technology and services actually around the world for lotteries and gaming companies and the beautiful thing about supporting lotteries is anywhere you go in the world a lottery generally supports a good cause and in Texas, the Texas Lottery actually raises funds for schools here in Texas. One, it's a privilege to be a part of an industry that serves such a good cause but it's also great to be a part of Texas. I grew up in San Antonio just down the road. Some of my team that is here, most of them are from the area and we take great pride in being able to do things in the community beyond what we do for the state and this is part of what we call our After School Advantage Program. Our company does this all over the world where we donate technology and try to integrate educational resources and technology together to make it fun and interesting for students like you guys and to give you opportunities to explore and do things that may not be available to just everyone at your age. Again, we are thrilled to be able to these things for the community. It's a privilege to be able to serve the state and again, really the credit really goes to Mrs. Michelle Kuempel. Mrs. Kuempel was very instructive in what would be helpful and good for the students of this school and we followed it to the letter. So if you guys like these iPads thank Mrs. Kuempel everyday because that's the lady that told us this is what we need and exactly what she wanted it to be," said Lapinski.
Jack Jones, the director of the city's parks and recreation department, says while the program is operated by the city, it is still the school's children who get 100 percent of the benefit.
"It's great for the kids to have this opportunity to be more interactive with technology as part of our JAAM Program and we are thankful that the school district went out and got this grant that supported the JAAM Program," said Jones.
Chandra Jobb, recreation superintendent for the park's office, says she is excited for the group of 60 students who will benefit from this gift. She says with Koennecke having the second largest JAAM enrollment, it's going to have a significant impact on learning.
"This is a whole new element for us so we're going to be learning right along with the kids but a couple of things that we are thinking of starting is they'll be able to do AR testing during after school time so it's another extension for them to read books and get to do the testing during after school and also that technology part that she was talking about maybe the movie part -- we are hoping to get into that and then the math part that comes with it -- getting to do all of those different math games -- reading games -- all of those different components and I'm excited to get to research to see what all we can do with the kids during our after school program," said Jobb.
According to school officials, the addition of the 30 iPad Pros is only going to allow for new after school programs. In addition to the tablets, the grant also funded cases and a cart to house the equipment.