SALEMBURG — Thanks to a generous donation, kindergartners and first-graders will be able to use iPads and learn more about technology.
On behalf of the Donnie M. Royal Foundation, Charles Royal presented a check of more than $12,000 to Salemburg Elementary School. Funds will be used to assist with technology improvements.
The donation was for the school’s “iLearn through iPads” initiative. Its purpose is to help students improve reading skills by increasing reading fluency, comprehension and providing one-on-one instruction. Another goal is collaboration for students to develop critical thinking across the curriculum while gaining skills for the 21st century.
Principal Gerald Johnson said he appreciated the foundation’s consideration and support.
“Over the last several years, your foundation has made it possible for our school to provide updated technology that they uses on a daily basis,” Johnson said. “We look forward to our continued collaboration to provide much needed technology necessary to increase the academic skills of all students and to prepare future ready students for the 21st century.”
The funding will give kindergarten and first-grade students access to 25 iPads in the classroom. It comes with charging stations, protective cases and screen protectors. Students will use the iPads in small groups through applications. Some of instructional resources include ABC Mouse, Letterland, Draw & Tell and Imagine Learning, a program for English language learners.
Edward Zigmont, school media coordinator, was also pleased with the donation of new iPads, with updated technology and features. This year marks the third time, Salemburg Elementary received a check from the Donnie M. Royal Foundation, which helps organizations, medical programs and other education efforts in the area. During the first year, a technology donation went to fourth and fifth grades. In 2016, third and second grade levels benefited.
The foundation was established in memory of Royal’s great-uncle, a doctor who practiced more than 60 years and his wife, Dorothy Turlington Royal.
“They lived here a long time and they gave a lot,” Royal said about his family members.
Royal said assistants from Campbell University will assist the foundation with a building a website for the future. He expressed how this will help establish the history and spread awareness of the Donnie M. Royal Foundation.
Funding for the Salemburg Elementary project was made possible through the School Improvement Team. Chair Diana Herwy said it’s great for the school, which serves close to 500 students.
“Here, before they started, there was one (computer) cart for the whole school,” Herwy said. “Now, we’ve been able to add one for each grade level and that’s really benefited the children.”
The other members of the team are Zigmont, Tara Armwood, Amanda Allen, Carol Radford, Deborah Melvin Dupree, Jeannie Faulk, Christine Ketchum, Mary Horne, Cyndi Cantrell, Bernita Faison, and Olivia Hall.
During the school year, the improvement team collaborates on different projects and grants. One of the upcoming ones is a butterfly habitat, made possible through the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.
“We’re doing some great things around here,” Herwy said.