SESSER, Ill. -- The Sesser-Valier School District will be able to upgrade technology, thanks to a $25,000 grant. It's the third time the district has received these funds from Monsanto's America's Farmers Grow Rural Education program.
High school principal, Natalie Page, says local farmers helped to make it all possible, "Actually the more farmers that nominate you, the better chance you have of being awarded the grant. The first two times we got $10,000. This time we thought we would try for the $25,000 grant."
Teachers applied for the funds in the spring and found the district had been selected shortly into the school year.
"I was extremely excited," Page says, "I knew it was going to help our students have opportunities and our teachers to be able to expand what they do in the classroom."
The funds will be used to purchase 75 Chromebook laptops and smart microscopes that have the ability to transfer information to computers or smart boards. The equipment will be used by students in kindergarten all the way up to high school seniors.
Brooke Williams, who teaches high school Biology, says she's looking forward to using the new technology, "Right now, they were going in to do their plant projects on the computer. So if the lab is taken, we now have the advantage of having the Chromebooks."
Williams says the new microscopes will also help replace ones that were being used before she was hired - 16 years ago - and give students more hands on experience, especially with their human cells unit.
"Giving them the opportunity to visually see what their cells look like and what they are made up of," Williams explains. "I think they will really enjoy that."
The district's technology coordinator is currently in the process of ordering the equipment.
A check-presentation will also take place during half-time of its varsity football game Friday, September 14th. Teachers, Monsanto representatives, and the local farmers who nominated the district will all be present.
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