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Fundraiser touts how iPads can help students

Fundraiser touts how iPads can help students
KANNAPOLIS — The Kannapolis Education Foundation (KEF) is kicking off a new initiative next Friday to help children in the Kannapolis City Schools system excel in the classroom and become better prepared for the workforce.
The initiative is called TECH (Teach Every Child How), and it will focus on providing iPads for KCS classrooms.
The KEF will launch its TECH Campaign at a special fundraising breakfast next Friday.
The breakfast will become an annual event and will be held at 8 a.m. at the Core Lab of the North Carolina Research Campus.
During the breakfast, students and staff from Kannapolis City Schools will demonstrate the impact of iPads in the classroom, and community members will explain the involvement of the Kannapolis Education Foundation in providing iPads to students and teachers.
Research has shown that iPads produce remarkable gains in student achievement.
One of the biggest benefits is how they help children with special needs. For example, students who are not able to form words can use iPads to scroll through pictures and choose from often-used phrases and sentences, and the iPads will speak for them.
The devices also have opened new learning opportunities for children with cortical visual impairment, autism, Down syndrome and many other disabilities.
Because iPads use touch screen technology instead of a traditional keyboard and mouse, students with limited motor skills can use them effectively, and it allows them to improve their achievement.
Formal research with special needs students has shown that reading comprehension increased by 22 percent when the special needs children used iPads instead of traditional books.
Other studies have shown that iPads increased the independence of special needs students by 52 percent and improved their behavior, accuracy and motivation by an average of 45 percent.
Separate studies with regular education students have shown that math achievement skyrocketed by 30 percent for children who used iPads as a learning tool.
The iPads also allow teachers to become more creative with their lesson plans, and the iPads provide virtually limitless resources to students.
More than 1 million applications are available for iPads, and many of them are free or range between 99 cents and $5.99.
One example is that an iPad can make the equivalent of a $129 graphing calculator available for just 99 cents by downloading an application.
“We’re extremely excited about opening more doors of opportunity for students in Kannapolis City Schools,” said Joe Trull, Kannapolis Education Foundation chairman. “iPads are an amazing educational resource and our children need access to them. Doctors, scientists, and other professionals use iPads every day, and our children need to be ready to succeed.
“The Kannapolis Education Foundation is proud to be a part of that process.”
The Kannapolis Education Foundation will focus its 2012 fundraising efforts on raising money to provide iPads for exceptional children’s classrooms and regular education classrooms in Kannapolis City Schools.
It hopes to raise at least $75,000 for the TECH Campaign this year and more in future years. $75,000 would provide approximately 150 iPads for KCS classrooms.
For more information, call Ellen Boyd at 704-939-1334.

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