NJ schools awarded grants of $100,000

Though ongoing budget limitations remain a challenge statewide, ten New Jersey schools will have the opportunity to roll out ambitious, technology-driven learning programs in their classrooms as a result of $100,000 in grants being given by Optimum Lightpath®.

The company, provider of Ethernet-based communication solutions for New York metropolitan area businesses, has announced the recipients of its Transforming Education With Technology Grant Program at its New Jersey Education Technology Conference: New Strategies to Transform Schools & Classrooms, which was held in Somerset, New Jersey.

The following schools, which were chosen from among 166 applicants, will each receive a $10,000 grant from Optimum Lightpath:

Arleth Elementary – Parlin, New Jersey (Middlesex County);
· Cresskill High School – Cresskill, New Jersey (Bergen County);
· Don Bosco Technology Academy – Paterson, New Jersey (Passaic County);
· Fernbrook Elementary School – Randolph, New Jersey (Morris County);
· Hawthorne Elementary School – Teaneck, New Jersey (Bergen County);
· Hope Academy Charter School – Asbury Park, New Jersey (Monmouth County);
· Lakeview School – Edison, New Jersey (Middlesex County);
· Memorial Elementary School – Montvale, New Jersey (Bergen County);
· Robertsville Elementary School – Morganville, New Jersey (Monmouth County); and
· Solomon Schechter Day School – Marlboro, New Jersey (Monmouth County).

“Technology has the power to transform the way students learn and prepare them for a world of opportunity,” said Julia McGrath, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, Optimum Lightpath. “As more New Jersey schools take advantage of our value and performance-based communication services, Optimum Lightpath recognized the opportunity to help further introduce technology in the classrooms of the communities we serve. Each of the schools selected as grant recipients plan to roll out innovative projects that will truly advance teaching and learning for students.”

The public and private institutions that received an Optimum Lightpath grant ranged from elementary to secondary schools. Programs that will be funded by the grants include distance learning, virtual field trips, remote access to cutting edge applications from the home, creation of a live-stream television studio run by students and advanced connection to the nature and practice of science. Goals of the program include increasing literacy levels, providing access to information in low-income neighborhoods, introducing students to a variety of cultures and improving overall student performance.

Hawthorne Elementary School in Teaneck, New Jersey was one of the schools to be awarded a grant. Hawthorne Elementary was selected because of its plan to use technology in innovative ways to enhance education. With the grant money Hawthorne will kick off a ClassLink LaunchPad initiative. LaunchPad is a customizable Virtual Academic Desktop that will enable Hawthorne students and teachers to access a suite of digital tools anytime anywhere.

The grant program was available in specific areas throughout New Jersey and open to public and private elementary and secondary schools. Grants were awarded based on criteria that included how a school would use the awarded funds to:

· Leverage technology to improve instruction;
· Promote the use of technology to improve the overall education experience;
· Utilize new technology to promote distance learning; and
· Create new school initiatives centered around new technologies.

Optimum Lightpath works extensively with schools throughout New Jersey and the New York metropolitan area to deliver Ethernet-based communication services that transform education in the classroom. Schools that have deployed services from Optimum Lightpath’s Education Services Suite have cut costs, considerably increased bandwidth and enhanced teaching and learning.