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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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User-Friendly Grant Adds Computers For Teachers

Question: Where do Central Valley and East Valley teachers learn how to use computers in their classrooms?

Circle your choice: A) in Honolulu at a 14-day, mid-January conference. B) an all-expense paid seminar in Las Vegas. C) Right here in River City.

Those who answer C just might be thinking of the Barker Center Technology Center.

A $579,000 grant won by the two districts last year has made it possible to wire two classrooms with computers, scanners, digital photo equipment and everything else necessary to do multi-media presentations.

Count ‘em: 18 new computers in each room. One set is Macintoshes; the other is IBM-compatible.

A place, in other words, for teachers, school librarians and parents to do some catching up with the younger generation.

“My dream is to help teachers learn how technology can actually change learning,” said Mary Anderson, an educational consultant who has her doctorate in education from Gonzaga University and is leading the training program. Anderson is working with media specialists right now - librarians, in other words.

She’s just finished a series of Internet classes for parents from various schools in the two districts. Those parents, in turn, will help advise educators in their schools.

Anderson chafes against being regarded as simply a trainer. She wants to help educators create better ways for their students to learn.

The computers are open to students, as well. Students at the Barker Alternative School use them daily for research and reports.

Some Barker students are also studying a segment of the Centennial Trail and trading their research with other high school students via the Internet.

Classrooms of students from other schools can schedule themselves into the computer labs.

“I can see a class coming here every day for two weeks to study the bones of the body,” Anderson said.

In January, Eileen Utecht, who manages Barker Center, hopes to start community nights, at which the computer labs would be open to members of the public.

“I can see college students who work and can’t get to the university libraries coming here. I can see parents who don’t have computers coming to help their kids with their homework. Or to put together a resume,” Utecht continued.

While some teachers have become expert at incorporating technology into their teaching, others have never turned a computer on, Utecht said.

Both women agreed that the teachers who still have little access to computers in their own schools - and there are plenty of those - must be allowed to gain knowledge at their own pace.

Central Valley officials are hoping to land another grant that will allow them to continue and expand the training to other school districts.

Students help Family-a-Fair

Thanks to an enterprising first-grader at Keystone Elementary School, Family-a-Fair will recoup some of its lost revenue.

Last month, during Family-a-Fair, the popular family education event held annually in downtown Spokane, organizers discovered $7,000 had been stolen.

First-grader Robert Aneiro suggested that he and his Keystone classmates could help. The student council agreed and the school held a bake sale recently, raising $150 for Family-a-Fair. Planned for one day, the bake sale ran over.

“We had so many baked goods come in that we carried it over to a second day,” said ASB advisor Becky Crowder.

Speaker on gang prevention

A community conference on youth violence and gang prevention will be held Dec. 4 at Redeemer Lutheran Church. The speaker will be Debra Drain, a Seattle-area police officer with expertise in youth violence.

The conference will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Central Valley Safe Schools is sponsoring the conference.

Drain will help parents and community member learn what kinds of youth behavior to be aware of and how to report information to authorities so as to keep the Valley a safe place.

, DataTimes MEMO: The Education Notebook is the spot The Valley Voice devotes to telling our community about students’ accomplishments, about learning in classrooms across the Valley. Teachers or parents whose students have earned honors, feel free to toot your horn. Contact Marny Lombard at the Valley Voice, 13208 E. Sprague, Spokane, WA 99216. Call: 927-2166. Fax: 927-2175. E-mail: MarnyL@spokesman.com

This sidebar appeared with the story: EDUCATION WRITER LOMBARD HONORED The Washington State School Directors Association has recognized Spokesman-Review staff writer Marny Lombard for excellence in reporting on educational issues. Lombard, who covers Spokane Valley schools, won first place in the association’s annual statewide journalism contest. All stories submitted for judging were published in the Valley Voice. The award was presented to Lombard at Monday’s Central Valley School Board meeting. The school directors association is made up of school board members across the state. Excellence in writing and coverage of educational issues were among the contest criteria. Lombard was honored for articles about a forward-thinking math class in Freeman, the planning involved in developing a West Valley School District first-grade unit on dinosaurs and summer school for Spokane Valley’s teachers. “Marny does an outstanding job covering schools and educational issues for our readers,” said Valley editor Mike Schmeltzer. “She is a thorough reporter and a fine writer who really understands what our readers need to know and want to know about Valley schools. This award for excellence certainly underscores that.” Lombard has worked for The Spokesman-Review for 10 years. She was the first editor of the Valley Voice and also worked as an editor in the newspaper’s Coeur d’Alene bureau. She and her son, Sam, live near Millwood.

The Education Notebook is the spot The Valley Voice devotes to telling our community about students’ accomplishments, about learning in classrooms across the Valley. Teachers or parents whose students have earned honors, feel free to toot your horn. Contact Marny Lombard at the Valley Voice, 13208 E. Sprague, Spokane, WA 99216. Call: 927-2166. Fax: 927-2175. E-mail: MarnyL@spokesman.com

This sidebar appeared with the story: EDUCATION WRITER LOMBARD HONORED The Washington State School Directors Association has recognized Spokesman-Review staff writer Marny Lombard for excellence in reporting on educational issues. Lombard, who covers Spokane Valley schools, won first place in the association’s annual statewide journalism contest. All stories submitted for judging were published in the Valley Voice. The award was presented to Lombard at Monday’s Central Valley School Board meeting. The school directors association is made up of school board members across the state. Excellence in writing and coverage of educational issues were among the contest criteria. Lombard was honored for articles about a forward-thinking math class in Freeman, the planning involved in developing a West Valley School District first-grade unit on dinosaurs and summer school for Spokane Valley’s teachers. “Marny does an outstanding job covering schools and educational issues for our readers,” said Valley editor Mike Schmeltzer. “She is a thorough reporter and a fine writer who really understands what our readers need to know and want to know about Valley schools. This award for excellence certainly underscores that.” Lombard has worked for The Spokesman-Review for 10 years. She was the first editor of the Valley Voice and also worked as an editor in the newspaper’s Coeur d’Alene bureau. She and her son, Sam, live near Millwood.

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