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December 19, 2013

Velma-Alma Elementary receives $5,000 stipend from Cotton Electric

VELMA — A $5,000 stipend from Cotton Electric will be used for technology at Velma-Alma Elementary, not a hot tub as students might have hoped.

The elementary school received the stipend Monday. The funds will be used to purchase electronic equipment, including electronic tables, storage cart and charging stations, to help younger students excel in their education.

“We’ve got to infuse our curriculum with technology,” V-A Elementary Principal Shannon Williams said.

The school has laptop computers its uses with its older students. Those students play educational games, take Accelerated Reading and Accelerated Math tests, and learn to type using those computers.

Williams said the tablets better introduce the younger grades to technology. As students get older, knowing how to use various types of technology will become more and more important.

This was the primary reason Williams sought the grant from Cotton Electric. She said the need for technology in education continues to grow.

“I was very pleasantly surprised,” she said about receiving the grant. “We have stake holders who support us. We thought it would be a good investment. We want students to have the best possible learning opportunity.”

She said state testing is coming up in the spring semester. As such, the technology will help students prepare for testing. Williams said the goal is to optimize the students’ learning.

Although the Velma-Alma School District administrators know the importance of technology to today’s education, without help from outside funding sources it becomes more difficult to purchase such technology.

“With budget cuts schools face annually, there’s no way we could do it without stake holders,” Williams said.

She said she appreciates the support given to the school by companies in Stephens County. She said those stake holders appreciate the needs of the elementary school.

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