School receives $100,000 grant

Money to be used to improve CIS student technical literacy

— The Colorado Technology Literacy Challenge Fund recently awarded Craig Intermediate School (CIS) $100,000.

A CIS application entitled "Basic Skills Remediation at Craig Intermediate School" was one of the proposals selected to receive a grant from the fund. The grant was written by several CIS staff members, with Sheri McGuinn, Ellen Johnson and Nancy Muldoon as the main authors.

The Technology Literacy Challenge Fund (TLCF) began through the Clinton Administration in 1996 and it is a competitive grant project. The program helps ensure all students are technologically literate by the dawn of the 21st Century.

In 1999, Colorado was allocated between $3.5 million and $4 million to fund TLCF statewide. Ninety-one schools applied for the grant and 35 received money.

"Craig Intermediate School demonstrated a really good project that can also benefit the community," said Kimberly Fisher, senior consultant of the Educational Telecommunications Unit. "The project will also increase assessment scores."

According to Joanne Birdsall, coordinator of the project at CIS, $80,000 has gone to purchase computer hardware and software while the remaining $20,000 will go toward staff development. The school has purchased 18 iMac computers, one network server, three laser printers and a software program by Competitive Curriculum Corporate that is a key element of the learning process.

"The software will help evaluate weaknesses in students," Birdsall said. The computer program will also be able to tell the strengths of each student.

The executive summary of the grant states, "We are applying for a grant for software to enable us to individualize remediation of basic skills more effectively, and the hardware to support it. We are requesting a Project Director position to organize, implement, and document the project, as well as providing training and support for teachers using the software. We believe this intensive support will increase positive teacher reactions to technology and that will lead to increased use of technology in the classroom. We also plan to increase community involvement by sharing this technology with adult learners."

To receive initial consideration for grant money, the school needs to demonstrate four goals:

Modern computers and learning devices will be accessible to every student

Classrooms will be connected to one another and to the outside world

Educational software will be an integral part of the curriculum

Teachers will be ready to use and teach with technology

The CIS project consists of three main objectives. These objectives are:

To remediate students' basic skills levels through the use of technology

To increase teacher use of technology

To increase community involvement

The grant application is sent to all learning environments; Colorado schools, school districts, Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) and other consortia from the Colorado TLCF to implement school and district technology initiatives.

The Craig Intermediate School grant will also help the community by offering assistance in classes such as English as a second language (ESL) and general education diploma (GED).

The $100,000 grant must be spent by September 2000 and the final report will be due by November 2000. Funding for the second and third years is dependent on the final report showing progress on the project after the first year.

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