South Central Communications, under the leadership of Chief Executive Officer Michael East, has donated $11,630 to the Kane Schools Foundation for Students (KSFS) to fund the purchase of Chromebook computers for Kindergarten through Second Grade (K-2) classrooms in the Kane School District. The proposal, called K-2 Technology Foundational Skills, was developed by Kane District Reading Specialist Nancy Roundy, along with all K-2 teachers in the district. Roundy presented the idea at a KSFS board meeting in May of 2014. Michael East, a new member of the KSFS Board since February, was impressed with the idea and decided that South Central should help provide funding to obtain the computers and put the new program in place before the new school year.

This is the largest single business donation made to the non-profit Kane Schools Foundation, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year. The foundation will honor South Central Communications as a Founder’s Circle Partner in Education this fall, recognizing this significant contribution to elementary education in the Kane District schools. The KSFS Board, and the Kane School District, appreciate the dynamic efforts of Mr. East on the KSFS Board, his leadership of South Central Communications and its strong commitment to community.

The K-2 Technology Foundational Skills funding will give the K-2 teachers the technology and training as a team, to empower students to achieve success in understanding and integrating technology into Math, Reading, Language and Science. The Utah State Office of Education recently directed elementary schools in the state to begin teaching proper keyboarding before third grade to allow students to reach a high level of proficiency before graduation. In fact, research shows that students need to be able to type 20 words per minute in order to free up their minds for understanding content.

Today, efficient keyboard and computer operation is a necessary skill for most occupations. Furthermore, keyboarding is now a critical tool for communication throughout one’s life. It is therefore important to get younger students exposed to this tool, to ensure that they improve proficiency throughout their school career.

Kane District schools also now use technology extensively to do assessments on student progress and to collect data. The foundation has supported and funded other technology to enhance student learning over the last four years, including iPads for reading assessments and tracking, handheld graphing computers for math classes, GPS units for high school resource management and geography classes, and iPads to develop pre-literacy skills in pre-schoolers. This will be the largest technology purchase made through the foundation, thanks to the generosity of South Central Communications.

Kane School District Technology & Assessment Director Travis Terry commented, “We are very appreciative to South Central for donating the funds to purchase this technology for the K-2 classrooms. Most technology funding from the state in the past has been focused towards online testing preparation, which has left out these younger grades towards the purchasing and implementing of the Chromebooks in those grades in the district. Getting Chromebooks into the hands of these young students will be a valuable tool for teachers to help familiarize them with the technology that we have adopted in the higher grades. It will also allow them to fully utilize the vast amount of software which has recently been selected and used by the district, which has been proven to be effective in early education learning. A big thanks to Nancy Roundy and the elementary school principals for writing this proposal, and for South Central seeing the vision of what we want to accomplish with learning through the use of technology and funding it.”