Jindal visits students in St. Helena
GREENSBURG — Angela Gomez’s kindergarten students at St. Helena Central Elementary School knew exactly whom to thank for their new interactive whiteboard.
“You bought it,” they said, pointing at Louisiana first lady Supriya Jindal and smiling.
Jindal visited the school Wednesday to talk to students about the importance of education and to demonstrate the uses of two Promethean interactive whiteboards and an ActivTable the school received through the Supriya Jindal Foundation for Louisiana’s Children, in partnership with Dow Chemical Co.
The school also was awarded a $10,000 Dow Promise Grant for a second Promethean ActivTable, St. Helena Superintendent Kelli Joseph said.
Both awards included installation, accessories and teacher training, Joseph said.
All but four of the elementary school’s kindergarten through fourth-grade classrooms now have interactive whiteboards, Joseph said.
“Interactive technology is something we are beginning to see transform education across the country,” Jindal said.
“A study recently released shows a 17 to 29 percentile gain in academic achievement in classrooms using interactive whiteboards with such systems versus classrooms without,” she said.
The whiteboards and tables will enhance educational opportunities for St. Helena’s elementary students, Principal Reginald Douglas said.
“There are just so many things they can do with the technology,” Douglas said. “I think it’s a positive seed for us, and we’re going to plant it and watch them grow.”
Jindal demonstrated one of the whiteboard’s educational games, “Jindal Jeopardy,” with Gomez’s class.
The students attempted to answer trivia questions on topics such as money and Louisiana facts, using remotes to log their answers to questions that appeared on a screen on the wall.
Across the hall in Anna Field’s class, Jindal helped three students put together a six-piece photo puzzle on the ActivTable, using their hands to grab, pull and rotate puzzle pieces on the touchscreen tabletop.
Both sets of equipment offer a range of educational games and problem-solving activities for math, English and other subjects.
“I hope this helps the
students have so much more fun learning,” said Sandy Holden, site leader for Dow’s Amerchol company in Greensburg.
“St. Helena’s schools were the most improved in the state (in 2011-12), and the new technology will only help us improve and do even more,” Joseph said.
“We feel honored that you’ve recognized little ol’ St. Helena, on the bottom and on its way to the top,” School Board President Edward Scott Galmon told Jindal.