Rotary Club donates Nooks to 4th grade classrooms
Rotary Club donates Nooks to 4th grade classrooms
Posted on 04/30/2015
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WEST HAVEN, April 28, 2015 — The Rotary Club of West Haven recently donated 44 new Nook electronic tablets to West Haven Public Schools’ fourth-grade classrooms to assist teachers in literacy and technology lessons.

The number of Nooks given to schools will allow each and every fourth-grade classroom to be outfitted with two of the tablets and durable cases. Rotary members raised money to purchase the gadgets last year through their annual dinner and auction and say the project exemplifies the high value Rotarians place on education and literacy.

The group also donated two Nooks each to the West Haven Community House, St. Lawrence School and Our Lady of Victory School, and worked with Barnes and Noble book store to get a discounted rate on the equipment.

Rotary members presented the tablets to fourth-grade classrooms last week, explaining to students what the Rotary Club is and why it opted to make such a significant contribution to their classrooms.

“The West Haven Rotary is here to help the kids in West Haven and other organizations. It’s a service organization, and one of our favorite things is helping students in our schools,” Kathy Wielk, president of West Haven’s Rotary Club, told students during her visit to Savin Rock Community School. “We think learning and reading are really, really important. We’re here today to give you the Nooks and tell you we hope you have lots of fun learning with them.”

When the Rotary initially brainstormed ideas for a service project for local schools, they spoke with teachers and learned more technology would be helpful in classrooms, Wielk said.

This isn’t the first time Rotarians have partnered with local schools. They give every third-grader in the city dictionaries each year and also volunteer in West Haven schools. Members now hope to come back and see the Nooks in action.

The tablets will be used for “Daily Five” activities in fourth-grade classrooms, which include reading to self, reading to others, listening to reading, word work, and writing. Special reading programs and interactive educational apps will also be loaded onto the Nooks, and students using the tablets will be able to choose from various digital stories or texts based on their individual reading level. Classrooms may also share their tablets if more are needed for a special assignment or small group work.

Superintendent of West Haven Public Schools Neil C. Cavallaro said one of the district’s primary goals is to increase the amount of technology, like tablets and interactive white boards, in classrooms and to further incorporate its use in everyday lessons. Some students are more engaged in lessons that use technology and others are better able to grasp a concept when it’s presented in a new way on a tablet, Cavallaro explained. Additionally, colleges and employers have greater expectations today when it comes to students’ and workers’ technology skills.

“Tools like tablets are essential to a 21st century education, so we’re extremely grateful for the Rotary Club’s very generous contribution to our schools,” Cavallaro said. “The Rotary has always been a dedicated partner in education, and we thank its members for their unwavering support.”