2006-06-23 / Community

Thanks To Sanders,PS 42 Students Become Computer Savvy

By Miriam Rosenberg Contributing Editor

Principal Madden and Councilman Sanders observe students at work by their computers. Principal Madden and Councilman Sanders observe students at work by their computers. With 80 new computer laptops to call their own, PS 42's students are now learning to do research, magazine layouts, web designs and edit their own schoolwork on those computers thanks to a $100,000 grant from the City Council that was facilitated by Councilman James Sanders Jr.

The school took delivery of the five laptop carts, each with 16 laptops, in January. On Tuesday, Sanders joined Principal Riva Madden, local District 27 Superintendent Rita Giaramita and parent representatives to see how students were using the computers.

"At least 300 students use the computers," said Principal Riva Madden.

In addition, Madden said the Robin Hood Foundation has donated career [computer] programs on banking and advertising for the students.

"Grade six uses the banking program, and grade seven uses the advertising program," Principal Madden told The Wave.

Students told Giaramita they have used the computers to research endangered animals such as the cheater, the Swiss fox and the humpback whale. The visitors also viewed a short program the students made of themselves using the computer.

Teacher Pam Speller (left) helps a student as superintendent Giaramita (center) is shown how the laptops are hooked up. Teacher Pam Speller (left) helps a student as superintendent Giaramita (center) is shown how the laptops are hooked up. "[The students] enjoy the computers, and I'm enjoying it," teacher Pam Speller told Giaramita.

The school also received two 52-inch Smart Boards as part of the grant. The 21st Century replacement for the blackboard literally becomes a computer, with the ability to write on (just as the blackboard), once the laptop is hooked to it.

Madden said PS 42's teachers are scheduled to receive training in the use of the board this summer.

The computers have given PS 42 a head start above other schools in the area.

"That school is on its way," said Sanders about the availability of computers for the students made possible by the grant. "But, we need to get to other schools."

Giaramita, parent association president Queen Makkada and Madden check out projects students have done using their laptops. Giaramita, parent association president Queen Makkada and Madden check out projects students have done using their laptops. Standing by one of the Smart Boards obtained by PS 42, Sanders attempts to demonstrate how it works. Standing by one of the Smart Boards obtained by PS 42, Sanders attempts to demonstrate how it works.

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