School goes high-tech
Supriya Jindal group donates whiteboards
By DARLENE DENSTORFF
Ascension section editor
Prairieville — Oak Grove Primary School first-grader Kay Allen, 6, stretched to activate a game on her classroom’s new interactive whiteboard.
It was the first time Kay had a chance to use the board, which was installed in three first-grade classrooms at the school in May.
At Kay’s side on Sept. 1, special classroom visitor first lady Supriya Jindal led the students through a series of games on the board, which was donated to the school by the Supriya Jindal Foundation for Louisiana’s Children.
Oak Grove Principal Terri Tate said the donation of the three interactive Promethean whiteboards and laptops have been a great addition to her school.
“Our kids are just startled by the things it can do,” Tate said.
Jindal said the school was selected because of its high performance scores and “to reward them for their good works.”
Jindal, a mother of three children ages 5-9, said the interactive whiteboards are “something we are beginning to see transform education across the country.”
She said a recent study shows a 17 to 29 percentile gain in academic achievement in classrooms with such systems versus classrooms without the technology.
Tate said the school has the boards in many classrooms, but had not installed them in first-grade classrooms until the surprise donation.
A telephone call from the first lady’s staff last spring left Tate wondering why Jindal was calling her school.
The principal said she was delighted when she learned her school was receiving the donation of not only the boards, but also training to use them.
Jindal and members of her staff visited the school last week to show the children and the teachers just what the technology can accomplish.
Before using the board, Jindal talked to the students about the importance of math and science in their lives.
“Math and science are all around you,” said Jindal, a chemical engineer.
She said teachers can use the boards and accompanying software to teach interactive math and science lessons.
Jindal played a game with the students that included lessons in science, math and Louisiana history.
Jindal thanked Wal-Mart Stores Inc., a platinum member of her foundation, for assisting in donating the boards to more than 210 classrooms around the state.
Ken Cartwright, Wal-Mart’s director of Operation for Louisiana, praised Jindal for her “investment in education and our children.”
As Jindal left the school, first- and fifth-graders lined the school’s sidewalk to thank the first lady for the donation.
She shared high-fives with most of the students.