Mesquite’s new Superheroes

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Superheros 8-22-16 01Mesquite children have some guardian angels or perhaps a better term for the kids would be the “Dynamic Duo” of education. Either way you look at it, Ann Rice and Jim Wilson are superheroes to the children of Virgin Valley Elementary School and to the teachers as well.

On Aug. 29, every third, fourth and fifth grade child will be assigned their very own Chromebook thanks to a very generous grant from Adopt A Classroom and Project GET SMART.

Adopt-a-Classroom is a national non-profit organization that provides funding for teachers to purchase supplies and materials they need to do their job and for their students to succeed. In the past three years, Rice has become the largest individual contributor to the Adopt-a-Classroom program.

What is Project GET SMART? According to Adopt-a-Classroom’s recent interview with Rice, a lifetime educator, she decided to focus her philanthropy on education after she was faced with a young cashier who could not count change. She asked a business associate, Wilson, to find a way to help teachers in the classroom, and he found Adopt-a-Classroom which proved to be a perfect fit. The dynamic duo went to work.

They dubbed their initiative Project GET SMART – with the GET standing for Giving Educators Tools. With an emphasis on elementary education, Rice and Wilson got busy.

In the early stages of Project GET SMART, Rice asked Wilson to help find out from the schools what they needed most. Not unexpectedly, technology was the answer. While IPads were the initial request, the consensus view was in favor of Chromebooks, as more appropriate and affordable for student use in the classroom.

Virgin Valley Elementary School just recently received 360 Chrome books, 12 portable docking stations and licenses for their use.

According to sources at VVES, these new tools will help create a virtual classroom learning community in the intermediate classrooms utilizing Google Chromebooks and Google Apps for Education.

Each student will engage in individualized technology-rich learning experiences that support all learners through authentic blended learning opportunities to prepare them to become college and career ready.

The school’s hope is the Chromebooks will allow students to move beyond the classroom and into the world to learn through museums, libraries and other out-of-school settings.

The digital opportunity will also provide a seamless transition for outgoing fifth graders as they move to the sixth grade. The superhero dynamic duo of Rice and Wilson are always looking for ways to give the VVES children every educational super start they can.

Virgin Valley Elementary School staff would like to express their thanks to Project GET SMART’s founder Rice and her business associate Wilson, their generous support of education and their willingness to provide educational tools that have such a profound impact on learning of the VVES students through their program.

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