Pol’s $$ adds technology to pre-k classrooms

Councilman Jiames Vacca and Marie Rogalle, prinicpal of the Bronx Delta School, look on as pre-k students use their iPad’s in the classroom.
Photo Courtesy of Frank Fraioli

Pre-k classes at P.S. 392, also known as the the Bronx Delta School, are grateful for new technology provided through Councilman James Vacca.

On Friday, December 2 he visited the school’s two pre-k classes which include technology in their everyday activities.

“We have to realize many children do not have access to technology,” said Vacca, whose office contributed a total of $96,000 for technology in the school’s pre-k and kindergarten classes. “We take it for granted that they do but they do not.”

“I also think that if we’re talking about learning outcomes in future years – technology is the key,” Vacca continued. “We have to get this equipment out here for our kids as soon as possible.”

Each pre-k classroom has four I-pad’s, two Macbook laptops and a desktop.

Principal Marie Rogalle spoke of the importance of having students begin using technology at a young age.

“It’s the present and it’s the future,” Rogalle said. “So we need to make sure that they have that opportunity and that experience at a very young age – beginning with pre – k and all the way up to second grade.”

Each of the two pre-k classrooms are set up into stations. The stations are divided by I-pads, macs/desktop, and non-technology activities.

The students have an allotted time at each activity and also get to choose their station based on the activity in which they are interested.

With this method, students aren’t forced into an activity they don’t want to do.

Michelle Kunzman, one of the pre-k teachers at the Bronx Delta School, said the kids are enjoying using the new technology in the classroom.

“They get really excited about it and it really helps with their learning,” said Kunzman. “For example, some of the kids need that visual for learning their letters and numbers.”

“It’s just really interactive,” she continued, “and it’s just an exciting addition to the other things their doing in the classroom.”

Rogalle also said the technology helps identify what level each student is at in their learning.

“So if the children are at beginning stages of reading they’ll be working on a different program than a child that is still identifying letters,” she said.

According to Rogalle, Vacca’s grants helped to buy I-pad’s during the 2014-2015 school year and then laptops, printers, and smart boards during the 2015-2016 school year.

The Bronx Delta School is a fairly new school, opening it’s doors in the fall of 2014, and currently teaches pre- through second grade.

The school is adding third grade in the 2017-2018 school year and Rogalle hopes to use funding from Vacca to buy smartboards for each of the third grade classrooms.

In addition, Rogalle said she hopes to add a technology teacher in the coming year.

The principal said technology plays an important role in the school’s plan for its students.

“What we do here at Delta is we create a nice balance,” said Rogalle. “So we have a very strong curriculum, we have technology infused into our curriculum, and then we also have a very large arts program.”

“So that’s our goal – to create a well rounded child that has opportunities and practices many different things that could one day be a specialty for them,” she added.

Reach Reporter Robert Christie at (718) 260-4591. E-mail him at rchristie@cnglocal.com.

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