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Neligh-Oakdale's third-grade class received a generous gift Tuesday morning from Great Plains Communications.
Teachers Cassie Koinzan and Sharon Kinnan, along with Principal Mary Schrader, were awarded a $3,800 grant from the Blair-based communications company.
Koinzan, who was the teacher who applied for the grant, said she plans to purchase 10 iPads so they will have a 1:1 with every child in her class. The class already had some iPads but not enough for every student.
"We're so excited to receive this grant, so thank you so much to Great Plains Communications," Koinzan said. "It's going to really benefit our students, and many great educational opportunities will come from it."
Koinzan said there will be 25 third-graders at Neligh-Oakdale next year. The iPads will be used in several ways from testing to projects.
"We use iPads for Accelerated Reading, research projects and lots of small projects throughout the year," she said. "We also use them for math facts and other assessments. There's really a lot of educational opportunities that are available through iPads."
This award is part of Great Plains Communications “Commitment to Our Schools” program, which provides nearly $35,000 annually to schools and students in the form of grants and scholarships. Neligh-Oakdale's additional iPads will also lessen the time it takes for all students to complete assessments.
“Great Plains Communications is committed to the advancement of education through technology,” said Casey Garrigan, Marketing and Sales Relations Manager. “We applaud the efforts of Neligh-Oakdale Public Schools and are proud to support this worthy project.”
The grant application was completed as part of Koinzan's final Master's Degree project that involved writing a grant to Great Plains Communications. Koinzan said her degree will be in instructional technology.
"We learned about the digital divide, and there's a huge divide between students who have technology in their hands and those who don't," she said. "We're working to close that gap by putting technology in the hands of all of our students."