NEWARK – The Worcester County Education Foundation this week donated $38,000 to aid the school system with technology expenses.
On Tuesday, Todd Ferrante, chairman of the Worcester County Education Foundation, presented a $38,000 check to the Worcester County Board of Education. The donation will provide funding for the purchase of laptop cases and covers as well as other technology related expenses.
“We certainly appreciate everything you do for our students of Worcester County,” said Steve Price, the school system’s chief operating officer.
In an update provided to the school board, Ferrante outlined the various ways the foundation has been working to support local students. Since it was established in 2014, members of the foundation have worked hard to collect funding to aid in the county’s digital conversion, which aims to provide every student with a mobile device.
“We’ve been very, very busy,” Ferrante said. “We can’t do it with just one person. We are a team.”
Ferrante said the foundation had accumulated $650,000 in money and pledges during the past three years.
“It’s been overwhelming,” he said. “We’re very thankful for that.”
The funding has already gone toward the school system’s digital conversion. A $35,000 donation last year enabled the school system to buy laptop cases. This year’s $38,000 donation will purchase 550 laptop cases and 200 covers for Chromebooks as well as a cart of iPads and a cart of Chromebooks.
The foundation has also provided grants to teachers. Six were awarded last year and nine were awarded this year.
Superintendent Lou Taylor praised the foundation’s efforts. He said because of the organization the school system was able to meet its technology needs now rather than later.
“This is not a funding organization that takes the place of our county, state or federal government funding,” he said. “They just help expedite our needs and get things done quicker.”
Taylor said he personally had enjoyed working with the foundation since the beginning.
“It’s a labor of love,” he said. “Yes digital conversion is the goal we had from the inception of this organization … but it’s our hope and desire that as we become older citizens here in Worcester County that we see this thing grow and grow and grow way into the future. Hopefully, we can look back and say we had some kind of hand in making this a reality for Worcester County Public Schools.”
Doug Dryden, vice president of the school board, expressed his appreciation for the foundation and its members.
“You’re doing some hard work,” he said. “The commitment you have, it shows the community’s business people are willing to invest in the future of Worcester County.”