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Apple Tech Grant Awarded to Waco Schools

Jill Ament

Four Waco elementary schools will receive iPads and computers through a grant from Apple. As KWBU’s Jill Ament reports, it’s part of an effort to even out the playing field for students who might not have access to technology at home.

Waco’s Bell’s Hill, J.H. Hines, Kendrick and Provident Heights Elementary Schools were selected to receive the grant. Schools will receive iPads for every student and teacher to use as key learning tools in their classrooms. They’ll also receive Apple computers and software for computer labs and classrooms. J.H. Hines principal Tra Hall says a lot of his students don’t have access to these technological tools at home.

“It levels the playing field where they have access like a lot of their middle class and upper middle class peers in the community.”

Over 95-percent of students in the Waco schools receiving the grant are economically disadvantaged.

The Apple Connect Ed Technology grant is awarded to schools that face high economic disadvantages and typically have large minority student populations. There are currently 114 schools in the US being serviced by the Apple Connect Ed grant. And 92-percent of students in these schools are mostly Hispanic, black, Native American, Alaskan Native or Asian. Apple says these schools can face funding roadblocks when it comes to accessing state-of-the-art technology for their students.

“It really allows them the ability to take these digital tools and they can turn them into creation tools for authoring blogs or creating media or creating music," said Hall. "You know, lots of things we can’t really measure with standardized testing.”

The Waco schools will receive the equipment later in the semester.

Jill Ament is a reporter at KWBU. She hails from right here in Central Texas, growing up down the road in Gatesville. She graduated from Texas State University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication in May of 2012.