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Chappaqua Schools See New Year, Methods, Technology

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. -- Thanks to donations from the Chappaqua School Foundation, in addition to new classes, teachers, and friends, Chappaqua students will be learning from new programs and devices this year.

For the 2011 school year, the Chappaqua School Foundation provided grants to supply e-readers to Horace Greeley High School. According to its website , these devices will provide support to ninth graders who struggle with their appropriate reading level. It is also intended to increase comprehension and confidence.

E-readers are also being supplied to students who are learning English as a second language to “look up a definition on the spot using the pre-loaded bilingual dictionaries and hear the word pronounced. In addition, students will be able to listen to a text read aloud as they follow along highlight and annotate text, which will help them prepare for class discussions and writing assignments,” the website says.

Other new technologies that have been funded will be SMART Boards and Digital Document Cameras to the foreign language departments in the middle schools. According to the Chappaqua School Foundation, the SMART Boards and cameras will help to enhance cultural materials in the classroom and facilitate better language skills through vocabulary and reading.

For elementary students, audio books are being added to the curriculum, called Playaways, which are similar to a MP3 player. The foundation’s website says Playaways allow students in kindergarten through first grade to listen to a book in a way that increases familiarity and allows students to increase their independence as they develop reading and listening skills.

The Chappaqua School Foundation, Inc. is nonprofit organization made up of volunteers, founded in 1993. The group works closely with school administrators, as well as the board of education to help fund the creative project ideas of teachers, administrators, parents and students.

The foundation raises its funds through community and hosting events throughout the year. During the month of March, the foundation’s board determines which applicants will receive grants, which they say are awarded based on merit.

The foundation reports that it has raised $1.2 million and funded almost 200 grants and projects since its inception.

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