Home Breaking News SWEPCO grant to put iPads into hands of MS elementary students

SWEPCO grant to put iPads into hands of MS elementary students

News-Leader photo/JOHN BALCH THANKS FOR IPADS. Mineral Springs Elementary School students express their appreciation to Southwestern Electric Power Co. last week for providing an iPad for each student from kindergarten through fifth grade. SWEPCO donated $30,000 to the school for purchasing the iPads. Students will receive the devices in August.
News-Leader photos/JOHN BALCH
HAPPY DAY AT MINERAL SPRINGS. Mineral Springs Elementary Principal Stacy Gauldin (left) and Superintendent Thelma Forte (right) are all smiles as they accept the $30,000 grant check from equally-exited Jennifer Harland, SWEPCO’s external affairs manager, during a ceremony Friday in the new Mineral Springs School cafeteria.

Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO), an American Electric Power company presented a $30,000 check Friday on behalf of the AEP Foundation to Mineral Springs School District’s Superintendent Thelma Forte to fund the purchase of Apple iPads for students in grades kindergarten through fifth grade.

Through this award, a significant portion of the district’s 415 students will have access to an iPad for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education and soft skills development.

“The district has embraced the combination of STEM education and seven essential soft skills; this approach will prepare our students to be critical thinkers and fierce competitors in the job market,” said Forte. “iPads are essential to the success of this initiative. Teachers and students will utilize applications on the iPads to conduct research, work in cooperative learning groups, and present projects.”

Through a partnership with Southern Arkansas University’s STEM Center, the iPads will allow the students to communicate directly with professors and student teachers through cloud-based software. Students will create projects, share their work with professors and student teachers, and they will use the feedback to improve their project.

“On behalf of the AEP Foundation, SWEPCO is proud to present this award to the Mineral Springs School District,” said External Affairs Manager Jennifer Harland. “One of the Foundation’s focus areas is improving early childhood education with an emphasis in the areas of STEM. These funds will be used to do exactly that.”

THANKS FROM THE STUDENTS. Those in attendance Friday at Mineral Springs were treated to a performance from The Melody Makers, the elementary school’s Honor Choir and students reading from cards made to resemble Apple products and holding up special ‘Thank You” cards.

About the Mineral Springs School District:

The Mineral Springs School District recently completed a new K-12 facility. This facility houses classrooms, a new cafeteria, a day gym, a career and counseling center, and a new basketball arena.

The Mineral Springs School District is dedicated to providing educational experiences that will prepare our students to be competitive in a global society. The district is implementing highly effective instructional tools that are identified in the new state High Reliability Schools Initiative. The district has chosen to implement the Apple Solution. Apple products will enhance educational experiences to prepare our students for post-secondary education and work place readiness. When students return in August, they will get an iPad, to complete our one-to-one ratio, and our teachers will be given Mac Book laptops, iPads, and Apple T.V.’s. The district is working with all teachers to provide job embedded professional development which will lead to Apple Teacher Certification to reach the goal of becoming a National Apple Certified School. 

About the AEP Foundation:

The American Electric Power Foundation is funded by American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) and its utility operating units, including Southwestern Electric Power Company. The Foundation provides a permanent, ongoing resource for charitable initiatives involving higher dollar values and multi-year commitments in the communities served by AEP and initiatives outside of AEP’s 11-state service area.

The Foundation focuses on improving lives through education from early childhood through higher education in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and by meeting basic needs for emergency shelter, affordable housing and the elimination of hunger. Other Foundation support may be offered to protect the environment, support healthcare and safety, and enrich life through art, music and cultural heritage.