BATON ROUGE (September 20, 2006) — Four East Baton Rouge Parish schools will receive complete mobile classrooms equipped with education technology to ensure a 21st century learning environment thanks to the Hurricane Education Leadership Program (HELP Team), Mayor Melvin L. “Kip” Holden announced today.
Four HELP Team Mobile Classrooms are being funded by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation as a result of a donation received from the Tiger Woods Foundation. The HELP Team, a group of technology companies and organizations whose mission is to help schools impacted by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, has purchased the mobile classrooms to assist schools supporting displaced student populations.
“Bringing technology partnerships to our schools has been a top priority of our administration,” Holden said. “Our increased population following Hurricane Katrina made this an even more urgent need. Each of these mobile classrooms will include carts with up to 30 Intel-based laptop computers, a wireless printer and wireless access point, an LCD projector, a SMART Board from SMART Technologies, a 30 unit student response system from eInstruction, and professional development for the teachers from Futurekids and student assessment from Scantron. This is a perfect way to use technology in our schools to help students and teachers adjust to larger classes after the hurricanes displaced thousands of students and their families to Baton Rouge.”
LaBelle Aire Elementary School, Baker High School, Highland Elementary School and Southeast Middle School have been selected to receive the mobile classrooms. At a press conference at La Belle Aire, Mayor Holden was joined by HELP Team members Terry Smithson, HELP Team Manager and Education Strategist for Intel Corporation; Maureen Brim, Account Executive for Apple Computers; Billy Ridge, Account Executive for Dell Computers; Carol Dowling, Director of US Sales for Futurekids, a global leader in education technology providing on-site professional development for teachers; Tim Loomer, President of Scantron Testing and Assessment, Darrell Ward, CEO of eInstruction, a leader in instant response technology, Christel Slaughter, Ph.D., representing the Baton Rouge Area Foundation and Martha Jane Tassin, former teacher and Metro Councilwoman for the East Baton Rouge Parish school district.
“Terry Smithson with Intel Corp. was one of the first calls I received after Hurricane Katrina brought over 200,000 people to Baton Rouge seeking shelter,” Holden said. “Terry had one simple question: How can we help? Today, we say thank you to Terry, Intel and the HELP Team for truly living up to their name.”
“One of the HELP Team’s goals is to provide support for displaced students by creating new or rebuilding 21st century learning environments,” Terry Smithson, education strategist at Intel Corp said. We are excited to provide four HELP Team mobile classrooms, consisting of the latest and greatest technology to the Baton Rouge area.”
East Baton Rouge Parish Superintendent Charlotte Placide joined school principal Da’Anne Lipscomb in receiving the mobile classroom contribution.
The HELP Team came together following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita to help rebuild and renew a focus on 21st century learning environments by providing support, strategic guidance and vision for schools, educators and elected officials in the impacted areas. For more information on the HELP Team, please visit www.educationhelpteam.org.
“The Baton Rouge Area Foundation is pleased to be part of this partnership which will help so many children who have been affected by Hurricane Katrina, ” said Christel Slaughter, Ph.D. “The thousands of children who have fallen behind their peers at school are truly among Katrina’s hidden consequences. These mobile classrooms do more than give students new tools to catch up. They demonstrate our region’s commitment to innovative, high-tech educational solutions to prepare our children for the future.”
Persons interested in joining this effort to improve the quality of local education for displaced students may visit www.braf.org for more information on how to support the 21st Century Classrooms Fund.