Foundation grants tech tools to Troy teachers

By: Mary Beth Almond | Troy Times | Published November 20, 2020

File photo by Deb Jacques

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TROY — Over 800 classes in the Troy School District will benefit from new technology tools thanks to the Troy Foundation for Educational Excellence.

Foundation President Julie McClure said all classroom teachers in the district were recently provided the opportunity to choose one item from a new Technology Innovation Menu aimed at impacting, enhancing and supporting the virtual learning experience for district students.

Fourteen technology supports were included, such as new web cams, combination webcam/document cameras, Bluetooth compatible mouse/keyboards, Bluetooth speakers, wireless keyboards, USB connectivity devices, rolling cart teaching stations and more.

“With the virtual learning environment, this year we chose to offer the teachers a menu of technology items that were selected by their technology chairs in their buildings,” McClure explained.

Barnard Elementary School fifth grade teacher Scott Germansky — who also serves as the building technology chair, foundation trustee and grant administrator — chose a USB microphone to facilitate better sound quality for his virtual students.

“When teaching in a hybrid learning environment, maintaining a sense of community amongst both in-seat and virtual students (or ‘roomies and zoomies’) is essential. The USB microphone can improve sound from the classroom so that our virtual students at home can hear their in-seat peers with the same clarity that they can hear me,” Germansky said in a statement.

The foundation’s mission, according to McClure, is to provide classroom grants to the teachers to enhance, enrich and engage students’ learning experiences to strengthen the educational excellence of the Troy School District.

“In the past couple of years, the foundation has provided over $100,000 a year in classroom grants to our teachers,” McClure said. “We’re really passionate about what we do.”

In order to fund this year’s grant program, McClure said, the foundation had to get creative after its major fundraiser, the annual Tony Spagnola Golf outing, was cancelled in June due to COVID-19.

As a replacement, the foundation is holding a $1,000 gift card raffle, where community members can purchase one of 1,000 tickets at $5 each from any foundation member or by contacting Troy Foundation for Educational Excellence Trustee Ann Toth at (248) 670-2849 before Dec. 9.

McClure said the winner of the raffle will receive 10 $50 Visa gift cards — a $500 value — along with $50 in gift cards each from Panera, Target, Starbucks, Bath and Body Works, Lowe’s, Apple/iTunes, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Best Buy, Shell Gas and Amazon — $500 value — totaling $1,000. The drawing will take place at 11 a.m. Dec. 9 at the Troy School District Central Office, 4400 Livernois Road in Troy. Ticket-holders don’t need to be present to win.

For more information, visit the Troy Foundation for Educational Excellence at https://www.troyfoundation.org.

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