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Red Bay celebrates Chromebooks grant

Technology is the classroom is becoming steadily more crucial, and school administration and teachers are increasingly emphasizing the importance of student access to devices that can augment and improve education.

That is certainly true at Red Bay, where fifth grade classes recently received a grant from the Franklin County Community Development Commission for a set of Chromebooks.

Fifth grade teacher Ginger Cole said the set of Chromebooks will be “to share within our three classrooms.”

“These Chromebooks will be greatly utilized in English, reading, math, science, and social studies,” Cole said. “We will use these Chromebooks to work on state college and career standards in technology. Some of these standards include creating digital presentations, podcasts and blogs.”

Cole said the uses for the Chromebooks are many and varied, including “assessment, collaborative research, collecting data, writing papers and so much more.”

“Another great advantage of this grant,” Cole added, “is that these standards can be met inside the classroom setting. We can accelerate students’ learning with the use of this technology by integrating it in our studies. “Technology is all around us, and we need to be preparing students to be able to use and interact with it every day,” Cole said. “The fifth grade teachers and students here at Red Bay are excited to receive this grant and cannot wait to use them in our classrooms.”

In total, the Chromebook purchase will cost $8,000. Cole said another grant, in conjunction with the FCCDC grant of $3,600, will fund the purchase.

“We will use the Chromebooks daily,” Cole said. “They will be a great addition to our classrooms.”

FCCDC board member Brand Bolton, who represents Sen. Larry Stutts on the FCCDC, said the commission is always eager to award grants for technology, particularly to put technology in the hands of students. “Any time we can assist the school system to put technology in the classrooms, it’s a win for the county and the students,” Bolton said. “We like to do everything we’re asked to do, but the money isn’t unlimited … We are more liberal when it comes to technology.”

The next meeting of the FCCDC will be held Nov. 18 at 8:30 a.m. at the Franklin County Commission office at the courthouse annex in Russellville to consider grants from September, October and November. All grant requests must be submitted by Nov. 11 at noon for consideration at the November meeting.

Bolton also expressed the FCCDC’s appreciation to Russellville Mayor David Grissom for his efforts as part of the commission for the past two years. With Grissom’s two-year term ended, the next mayoral representative will be the mayor of Red Bay, who will be elected following the Oct. 4 run-off.