By Sadef Ali Kully

Four public schools from School District 31 gathered together to receive $503,000 from a technology grant arranged through Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) last week at PS 270 in Laurelton.

“I cannot emphasize enough the importance of a sound education,” Richards said. “In today’s economy, those without access to the right educational tools will be left behind.”

Students, teachers and principals from PS 195 in Rosedale, PS/IS 270 and PS 156 in Laurelton, and PS/MS 138 in Rosedale met in the auditorium of PS 270 for the March 4 event with Richards.

The funding was made available through the Nelson Mandela Technology Grant, created in memory of the late South African president and civil rights leader who often spoke about the power of education.

“The Nelson Mandela Technology Grant provides me with an opportunity to invest in students of the 31st District, bridge the access gap and create schools and graduates that are competitive and prepared for the challenges that may lie ahead,” Richards said.

Emphasizing the rapid pace of developing technology, students shared with the council member the importance of access to a reliable Internet connection to make the most of their experience in the classroom.

Students as young as the third-graders spoke enthusiastically about their experience with computer coding like HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) and their growing interest in math and sciences.

Principal Beryl Bailey from PS 195 will utilize the funding from the grant for a new computer lab as well as installing SMART boards in classrooms as needed. Bailey would also like to a start a coding class next year,

Richards encouraged students and teachers in attendance to make the most of the educational tools provided through the grant and to work hard to become future leaders, particularly in the technology sector.

Reach Reporter Sadef Ali Kully by e-mail at skully@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4546.

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