BROKEN BOW—North Park Elementary students filled the gymnasium on Friday morning with the excitement that a Friday and an assembly normally bring. This assembly was brief but will impact the entire school for years to come. Fourth grade teacher Rilee Daffer presented a check on behalf of the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) to Principal Kim Jonas in the amount of $15,000.
The majority of this donation will benefit classrooms which are going “BlendEd” next year. Technology Integration Specialist Jason Daffer describes the BlendEd program as a way to meet students at their level and challenge them in new ways.
“The BlendEd learning allows students to choose their pace, path, and their place. If they want to learn on their Chromebooks or if they want to learn with the teacher, or watch a video, you know a short clip and then go to the teacher, it just kind of allows the students more freedom in how they learn because we understand that not all students learn the same. And so BlendEd learning allows those students to learn how are they are best suited to learn,” Jason Daffer said.
The program started in Nebraska about two years ago and Daffer said Broken Bow is now a school that is looked to as a model of BlendEd learning. The program helps raise the bar and will push students in news ways with the proper support from the teachers. The funds will go toward training and nontraditional furniture ideal for group collaboration.
“That’s huge! That helps advance our BlendEd program from where it is and it really puts us years ahead of where we would be if we weren’t able to receive that money,” Jason Daffer said.
Principal Jonas explained to the students that learning tools such as their iPads and Chromebooks are possible thanks to the help from the PTA. Friday’s donations were made possible thanks to the collaboration of the students and staff and North Park and the Broken Bow PTA. Students were encouraged to pat themselves on the back for helping with the flower sales fundraiser, which brought in approximately $9,000.
In addition, several teachers received grants to better equip their classrooms with items such as new chairs, ukuleles, flexible seating, and storage.