Graysville school receives free Kindles

By C.R. Nelson
For the Observer-Reporter
C.R. Nelson / For the Observer-Reporter
Graysville Elementary School received 20 free Kindle Fire tablets from the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation and Consol Energy Wednesday. Examining the new technology are fourth-grade students Kiley Meek, Piper Witlatch, Consol longwall coordinator Jesse Swift, Macey Whipkey and Jordan Karvan. Order a Print

GRAYSVILLE – The Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation, in cooperation with Consol Energy, teamed up on a first-of-its-kind initiative – “Tablets in Education”– and presented free Kindle Fire HDX 7 tablets to Graysville Elementary School Wednesday.

The school received 20 Kindles, mass charging stations and educational apps to support classroom curriculum.

“Placing Kindles into the hands of our young students is one method that motivates children to want to learn. We are pleased to partner with industry to provide instruction that is supported by technology,” said Thelma Szarell, superintendent of West Greene School District.

Dave Soltesz, president of the Penguins Foundation, said, “These Kindles come with a mass charging system and all the apps come from us. We have more than $75,000 invested in them and Common Sense Media keeps an eye on the quality. We take feedback from the teachers and the Allegheny County Intermediate Unit works with us. Every game teaches something - math, reading, chemistry and history.”

Tommy Johnson, vice president of government affairs and public relations for Consol Energy, said Consol encouraged the Penguins Foundation to expand its tablets program outside Allegheny County to benefit children in areas where Consol has a presence.

“Just as technology is at the core of virtually every aspect of our daily lives and work, we must leverage it to provide engaging and powerful learning experiences,” he said. “This initiative brings state-of-the-art technology into the classroom to help boost curriculum.”

Greene County Commissioner, who at the presentation at Graysville, commented that “These children are really going to grow from this. I know that from watching my own grandchildren.”

The Kindles can be signed out from the elementary school library and will be particularly useful during “Center Time” when teams of students work together to problem solve, librarian Myleen McMillan said.