For the Health Sciences Charter School, it’s like “Extreme Makeover” — but with Technology
May 17, 2012: For the Health Sciences Charter School in Buffalo, N.Y., it was like the TV show “Extreme Makeover” – but with technology – thanks to the Verizon Foundation and Samsung, which donated 80 tablets to the school.
When Maurine Falkowski, a grant writer for the charter school, learned the Verizon Foundation was seeking schools in underserved areas to apply for its Innovative Learning School Program, she sent in an application even though her school did not have one of the program’s main requirements: mobile devices for students.
The Verizon Innovative Learning School Program provides teachers in underserved schools across the country with year-long training from the International Society for Technology in Education. ISTE is a prestigious global organization dedicated to helping educators use technology more effectively to support student learning in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and math).
For Falkowski, the need demanded that she try, so she worked with Maureen Rasp-Glose, a senior consultant in Verizon External Affairs, who put her in touch with Justina Nixon-Saintil, the foundation’s director of education initiatives.
Falkowski asked Nixon-Saintil for help in obtaining mobile devices. Nixon-Saintil, a graduate of the University of Buffalo, agreed and found a team at Samsung that wanted to be involved.
“As soon as Samsung agreed to help Health Sciences Charter School, I was ecstatic,” said Nixon-Saintil. “Our goal at the foundation is to implement programs that have a positive impact on student achievement, and I am pleased that we can work with this school to realize this goal.”
As part of the Verizon Innovative Learning School Program, Health Sciences Charter School will receive a Verizon Foundation grant of nearly $50,000 for stipends for teachers who attend ISTE’s online and on-site professional development training throughout the year.