Donations bringing technology into Anniston classrooms
by Patrick McCreless
Feb 09, 2014 | 3279 views |  0 comments | 90 90 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Anniston school system's classrooms will soon receive technology upgrades thanks to money from the city and a local nonprofit.

The Stewart Family Foundation, the city of Anniston and the Anniston Board of Education recently provided approximately $125,000 each to install state-of-the-art educational tools in every classroom in the city school system. The money was funneled through the Public Education Foundation of Anniston, an organization formed in 1993 to provide academic support to city students.

"Our goal is to continue helping students," said Wonder Osborne, executive director of PEFA. "We're very appreciative of the Stewart Family Foundation and the city partnering with us to do this for our students."

Joan Frazier, Anniston school superintendent, said the school system received the money for the technology after Thanksgiving and began installing it in early January.

"It should all be done in the next couple of weeks," Frazier said.

The technology upgrades include digital projectors, tablet computers and interactive smart boards. Frazier said similar technology was already available in third-, fourth- and fifth-grade city classrooms and certain high school classrooms.

"This will help us finish every school," Frazier said. "This was a wonderful project, wonderful gift to the system and it will be advantageous for our students."

Donald Stewart, a local attorney and founder of the Stewart Family Foundation, said his organization created the Anniston Fiber Optics program specifically to improve the technology in city schools. Stewart said the program continues to receive funds through various means and spends it on technology, such as the latest classroom upgrades.

"We live in a digital age ... this gives them better tools to teach with," Stewart said of the upgrades.

Stewart said his organization is working with PEFA to one day provide digital devices, such as tablets or laptops, for every student in the Anniston school system.

"We're doing this because we think job preparation is everything ... we feel like these kids need that kind of training to keep up in the modern world," Stewart said.

Staff writer Patrick McCreless: 256-235-3561. On Twitter @PMcCreless_Star.

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