Fund-raising effort generates money for hi-tech equipment

POLAND -- Pupils at McKinley Elementary School, their parents and the community came together recently to raise more than $9,000 for a Smart Classroom.
Members of the PTA organized a fund-raiser that included a dinner sponsored by Outback Steakhouse, a silent auction and a Chinese auction. More than 60 gift baskets were donated from community businesses, along with a theme basket from each of the school's homerooms.
Throughout the afternoon, sixth-graders demonstrated their proficiency with the SmartBoard, a 77-inch electronic white board on which any image from a computer screen can be projected using a multimedia projector.
The screen is interactive and is touch sensitive. A simple touch of the finger acts as a mouse click to manipulate images and text as well as Internet sites. The 'chalk tray' holds electronic markers that never run out of color.
The pupils shared samples of their electronic portfolios, PowerPoint presentations, computer generated games and text documents written to complete school assignments.
The goal of the fund-raising effort is to furnish one Smart Classroom with the SmartBoard, a projector, a laptop computer and Internet access. Teachers will be able to bring their classes to the Smart Classroom and, eventually, the staff hopes to provide each classroom with a SmartBoard and projector.
A teacher can design a lesson using the Smart Notebook once and save it. Entire lessons can be saved as computer files and posted to teachers' Web sites. Any pupil who missed the lesson or didn't get it the first time can bring up the lesson and go over any information covered during class using a computer and the Internet.
Entertainment for the fund-raising event was provided by the sixth-grade band, and piano music to dine by was performed by Dr. Chuck Szabo, choral music instructor.

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