HICKORY – Harry M. Arndt Middle School is getting a big helping hand from a Claremont-based trucking company.
Cargo Transporters Inc. has made a commitment to Arndt for $50,000 to be paid out over two years. With it, the school has already bought 96 Chromebooks to use in its classrooms.
The school plans to buy another 96 once the remainder of the donation kicks in next year. And that is a big help to teachers and students.
“One way that it really helps our class is it engages the students,” Arndt math teacher Tracey Shank said as her students worked out algebra equations on their screens. “Any time you can use technology, that’s going to be better than me just sitting there lecturing the whole period.”
Shank said the Chromebooks also offer a chance for students to work together, as they were when John Pope and D.B. Setzer from Cargo Transporters visited Thursday. Depending on the software, Shank said she is able to meet more individual needs. “I can target the skills that they specifically need to work on,” she said.
Superintendent Dan Brigman said the support from community partners is something that is very important for Catawba County Schools. “We can’t do it alone,” Brigman said. “With diminishing resources in terms of funding, the need has gotten much greater for us to rely on external partners and we’re very grateful.”
The student council presented small gifts to Pope and Setzer thanking them for their donation to the school. Setzer said he comes from a line of educators and that made the donation personal. “We all know what it takes to be an educator,” he said. “You guys are unappreciated and underfunded, definitely. We’re just glad we could help out.”
Pope said the need for technologically skilled labor is in high demand. He hoped the donation would encourage development of that workforce. He felt obligated, he said, to help any way he could. “It gives me great concern that the folks that are going to come out into the workforce and (replace retiring workers) is that they’ve got to know that technology piece,” Pope said. “And I get concerned when the state starts cutting funding for education when it actually needs to be doubling or tripling.”
(Article credit: Joshua Farmer, HDR)