$5 million from Texas Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund
To provide telecommunications infrastructure, more than $5 million to schools in seven South Texas counties. Created by the Texas Legislature in 1995, the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund is charged with distributing $1.5 billion in grants and loans in 10 years to public schools, nonprofit health-care providers, libraries, and colleges in Texas. Last year, the fund’s board gave more than $77 million to the state’s public schools. This year, it expects to give schools about $80 million in grants.
$1.25 million in filtering software from Elron Software
For blocking student access to inappropriate web sites at Boston Public Schools. Boston schools received $11.7 million in eRate funds to wire its classrooms for the internet, but needed a way to make the web experience safe for students. Cambridge, Mass.-based Elron Software stepped in to provide its state-of-the-art filtering system. Elron says its filtering software works in real time, scanning a web site for objectionable material before it appears on the screen. The software is customizable, so schools can decide on their own what is and is not objectionable.
$535,000 from Bell Atlantic Foundation
For school-to-career initiatives that creatively use technology, 20 grants benefiting 48 Massachusetts communities. The grants were part of Bell Atlantic’s EdLink awards program, which supports emerging technological needs in K-12 education. All 20 winning projects promote collaboration among schools, teachers, businesses, and communities; increase teachers’ and students’ technology skills; and develop models that can be used in other communities. The Merrimack Valley MentorNet Program, for example, brings together students from four area high schools, retired individuals, and area employees. Through the use of telecommunications and face-to-face interactions, students explore career paths with their mentors and build computers for use in senior centers.
$500,000 from Toyota Motor Sales
For enhancing the teaching of environmental or physical science, $500,000 in teaching grants to K-12 teachers in 27 states. Toyota provided the money for the Tapestry teaching grant program, which is administered by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). The program is now in its ninth year and has awarded close to $3.5 million to 343 teams of teachers in 47 states and the District of Columbia. The grants help science teachers create and implement innovative projects for their students, including projects that involve the use of technology. Winning teachers also received an all-expense-paid trip to the NSTA annual conference in Boston, where the grants were awarded.
$10,000 in equipment from AT&T Foundation
For building a high-tech music lab at Eastern High School in Washington, D.C. Through the grant, Eastern was able to purchase three MIDI synthesizers, two computers, a mixing board, headphones, and a microphone. Students will use the new recording studio for creative purposes and to develop musical engineering skills. The AT&T Foundation supports educational projects that focus on the use of technology to enhance teaching and learning.