LEF Makes a Donation to Support Technology for the 21st Century Classroom and Announces Save-the-Date for Second Annual Hall of Fame Homecoming Weekend

    April 4, 2011 – On Monday, April 4, 2011, the Livingston Education Foundation (LEF) presented to members of the Livingston Board of Education and the Livingston Public Schools (LPS) Administration a check in the amount of $18,000 in support of Technology for the 21st Century Classroom.  The funds will be used to purchase 54 Document Cameras that will be distributed throughout all nine public schools.   As per the commitment of the Foundation, this purchase will enhance districtwide support for many children through direct impact on driving and changing classroom instruction while meeting the objectives of the LPS Strategic Plan.

    Mrs. Bonnie Granatir, LBOE President, and Dr. Brad Draeger, Superintendent of Schools,
    accepts the donation of $18,000 from the Livingston Education Foundation.
    Document cameras, which have also been referred to as image or visual presenters, digital visualizers, digital overheads and docucams, allow for real-time images to be captured for display to a large audience.  A document camera is not only able to magnify transparencies like that of an overhead projector, but it can cast the images of actual, three-dimensional objects.  This would allow for a teacher, for example, to project pages from a book, a sheet of paper or larger objects which can simply be placed in front of the camera and the camera rotated as necessary to capture the image. 

    While the 2007-2012 District Strategic Plan called for upgrades to technology, funds provided for in the 2010-2011 School Budget remained conservative with expenditures used, for example, to upgrade computers that were 5 years and older and to begin the process of placing LCD projectors in all classrooms. 

    A district Advisory Committee on Technology was convened to determine needs to create goals for the 2011-2016 Strategic Plan that was presented for approval at the April 4 BOE meeting.  The Advisory Committee examined next steps in support of the 21st Century Classroom that will provide for students who come to school already immersed in the use of technology when they enter Kindergarten as “digital natives.” 

    “Schools must be prepared to provide the technology that will support a process of instructional delivery K-12 consistent with how students learn and interact in the world outside the classroom and the transition of these skills across academic disciplines as well as in all areas of endeavor,” says Heidi Cislo, President of LEF.    In addition to document cameras and in compliance with the School District Guidelines, LEF will seek to raise future funds toward the purchase of Interactive whiteboards: a large interactive display that connects to a  computer and projector or a document camera; Tablets, portable  personal computers equipped with a touchscreen as a primary input device;  and Clickers: simple remote personal response systems used for active participation by students to provide immediate feedback to the teacher---and the students---about the educational material being presented.  A demonstration of how Clickers would be used in the classroom was made to the public at Monday’s BOE meeting.  A similar demonstration was made at a previous BOE meeting to illustrate the benefits of document cameras in the classroom.  Cislo noted, “LEF plans to provide podcasts of these demonstrations on our LEF website in the near future.”

    “The presentation of tonight’s donation is extremely exciting!  Building upon several years of grassroots community efforts, we are  thrilled to see LEF make such strides – it’s amazing what visionary leadership and tremendous effort by a committed group of people can accomplish”, said BOE President, Bonnie Granatir.  “The Board would like to express its deep appreciation and respect for all of those involved.”

    A large portion of the $18,000 was raised because of the generosity of volunteers who gave of their time in planning the Inaugural Hall of Fame Homecoming Weekend October 2010  and those that participated in the weekend events, including parents, community members, LHS alumni, teachers and staff of the Livingston Education Association, LPS Administration, partners of LEF - the Big L, West Essex YMCA, Livingston P-T Council, Livingston HCHY and those individuals and businesses that contributed in-kind services and sponsorship. 

    “We are happy to announce our Second Annual Hall of Fame Homecoming Weekend scheduled for October 14 – 16, 2011.  Honorees to the LHS Hall of Fame will be announced in May.  Plans for their visit to Livingston High School are already underway.  The Hall of Fame Dinner is scheduled for Friday, October 14 at 7:00 p.m. at the Cedar Hill Country Club and the Homecoming Football Game will be played on Saturday, October 15 at 1:00 p.m.,” noted Amy Saffer, past LHS Hall of Fame honoree and Co-Chair of the Hall of Fame Committee. “Please mark your calendars, join us and ask your friends to join us as we plan our activities for this wonderful weekend that celebrates education.” 

    The school and broader community can stay updated on the events for the upcoming Homecoming Weekend, volunteer to participate in support of LEF, sign-up to receive an LEF newsletter/ emails or make donations to support Technology for the 21st Century Classroom by going to www.livingston.org/lef.