HR foundation funds iPad project

An innovative tech-teaching project is under way in Hood River County thanks to the Hood River County Education Foundation’s Innovative Teaching grant program, according to Paul Lindberg, executive director for the organization.

“We’ve launched an iPad pilot project and we are raising funds through individual donations and grants to buy 30 iPads,” said Lindberg.

The big idea behind the exploratory project is to help teachers create ways to use iPad technology in their classrooms. Two grants, from Boeing and Insitu, are already secured, with a focus on improving science, technology, engineering and math skill development through the new technology.

“We have $10,000 from Boeing to train teachers to use these iPads in their classrooms. Insitu has given us $3,000 to buy the first machines and we have an additional $5,000 from the Gary Anderson Children’s Foundation,” said Lindberg. “We still need $3,600 to buy nine more iPads, to get the program going.”

Thirty selected teachers — one teacher from every building and every grade level in the district and two from Special Education — will undergo a series of four trainings. They will each then submit ideas on how to use the 30 “traveling” iPads in short-term teaching projects over the next year.

Todd Hilstad and Penny Grotting are working with the district to develop the trainings and implementation down the road. Once bought before Christmas — get into teachers’ hands for trainings (already done) use iPad for rest of school year.

“The Foundation has had regular requests to help teachers purchase iPads. We are using this as a pilot project to figure out what the real of impact of donating one or two could be,” said Lindberg. “These teachers will figure out the opportunities, limitations and restrictions for their use in the classroom.

“Next spring those 30 teachers will apply to the foundation with proposals outlining how they will use those iPads with their students,” said Lindberg. “The goal is to move that set of 30 around as a traveling set (for student use).

“This grant project really is the result of one innovative teacher, Vickie Schmidt, who received a grant from the Foundation to use iPads in her ESL class,” said Lindberg. Schmidt taught fourth-grade summer school students ESL curriculum using no paper — just iPads, funded by the Foundation. At the end of the summer session, according to Lindberg, Schmidt’s students outperformed kids from all other traditional classes.

Lindberg noted that during their first iPad teacher training session, 45 additional teachers sought help beyond those enrolled in the grant project.

For more information contact Lindberg at HRCEF, 1009 Eugene St., Hood River; 541-387-5713;

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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