Church donates 140 laptops to Greenway Park Elementary – Charlotte Observer

A Charlotte church’s gift of 140 laptop computers to students at Greenway Park Elementary will create a technology windfall for children in lower grades.

When the Hewlett-Packard Chromebooks that are on order arrive – with accessories such as protective covers – students in upper grades will pass along about 250 iPads to students in kindergarten through second grades.

“We wanted to do something tangible for the students, not just donate money,” said Mark Casper, chairman of the Missions Team at St. Stephen United Methodist Church. “So this is kind of a double gift.”

The iPads will be used in literacy centers and for math in the lower grades. Those machines did not have enough “horsepower” for the work that upper-grade students do, Casper said.

St. Stephen, located at 6800 Sardis Road, donated $45,000 from $990,000 raised during its three-year “Claiming His Vision” fundraising campaign to pay for laptops and accessories for Greenway Park Elementary, located on Monroe Road in southeast Charlotte.

The new Hewlett-Packard Chromebooks will give students more access to apps for literacy and other studies, said Anna Rusconi, principal at Greenway Park.

Through Google accounts, students can work on projects as a group and read documents shared by their teachers.

Bringing more technology into the classroom is a trend that has been growing for at least five years, Rusconi said.

Chromebooks offer more power and apps such as Reading A-Z and Raz Kids, which she describes as an online library.

“It’s invaluable,” Rusconi said of the new technology coming to classrooms. “The fact that they have these skills now really is a gift that we cannot overestimate.”

Karen Sullivan: 704-358-5532, @Sullivan_kms

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