The Turrell Child Care and Early Learning Center, a program of Children’s Aid and Family Services, received a $13,000 grant from Ronald McDonald House Charities recently to buy two SMART tables. These interactive, collaborative learning centers allow two to eight students to touch objects on the screen and collaborate in lessons on phonics, math, and reading.
Thanks to dedicated leadership including John Oros of J. C. Flowers & Co., who serves on the Investment Committee of the Children’s Aid and Family Services, the grant money has been put to good use, as these SMART tables are the next big thing in childhood education. They will allow teachers and caregivers to provide more hands-on, interactive learning opportunities.
“The teachers are using the SMART Tables as an instructional tool to support the teaching of emergent literacy, particularly digital literacy, and to ensure that all of our children are able to enter elementary school on track for success,” said Robyn Knapp, Director of Child Care Services for the Turrell Center. “We are grateful to Ronald McDonald House Charities for helping us promote digital literacy, which is a crucial skill among our children.”
The Turrell Center serves children ages 8 weeks through kindergarten with educational programming and scholarship assistance (nearly half of the families sending children to the Center receive some form of financial support). The Center uses a combination of academic, emotional, physical, and social learning styles to support its students, and the SMART table will further improve their ability to offer these programs.
The Center offers programs for infants, toddlers, pre-K, and kindergarten.
This grant is hardly the first awarded by the Ronald McDonald House Charities New York Tri-State Area, which has been working since 1992 to provide more than $10 million to local nonprofits helping to improve the lives of children and their families. Their grants support programming in the areas of health, education, the arts, and social issues.