Community partners bring technology to Cotteral Elementary
By Justin Fortney
Special to Guthrie News Page
(With the bond election coming up soon, I thought it would be interesting to sit down with the principals at some of the Guthrie schools and get their perspectives on education in Guthrie. What I ended up hearing were some great stories about how the community has come together to make sure Guthrie kids get some really unique opportunities. – Justin Fortney)
The pre-k and kindergarten students at Cotteral Elementary might be young, but they’re still part of a generation that’s growing up surrounded by technology.
In spite of budget constraints, Principal Scot Graham has seen parents and community partners come together to provide Guthrie’s youngest students with opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have.
A computer lab that Cotteral desperately needed was funded through a mixture of generous donations. Half of the $14,000 cost was given by the Guthrie Educational Foundation, while the Cotteral PTO raised one-fourth of the funds, with Principal Graham raising the final one-fourth
The lab consists of 24 computers that, according to Principal Graham, allow students “additional exposure to educational resources that enrich, re-teach, and reinforce skills they learn from teachers.”
The computer lab also enables students to participate in testing that helps the school district and the state measure reading needs and growth.
Another source of pride for Cotteral is the ipad lab. This room consists of 24 ipads, along with a number of educational apps, and bean bags for the kids to learn in a relaxed atmosphere.
The apps used on the ipads help students with everything from identifying and tracing letters to researching fun facts about their favorite animals.
Cotteral Librarian Kathleen Jensen utilizes an ipad app with the students that allows them to check out a book, say on sharks, and then the kids can find accompanying shark materials such as videos on the ipad app.
The ipad lab was funded through a combination of a grant from Sonic and Principal Graham’s fundraising.
“When parents some on campus and see how different learning is for their kids from when they were in kindergarten themselves, they’re amazed,” said Graham.
Generous donations from the community have made these technology labs happen, but they’ve also allowed classroom teachers to receive $250 each from the PTO to purchase classroom instructional materials like cd listening centers and alphabet stamps.
“Even simple things make a big difference, like a parent asked a while back if it would be ok for them to paint our sign out front. It’s amazing what a little bit of change can do.”