Funding cuts aren't new to local school districts, and it's forced many of them to find new ways to raise money for the equipment they need.
It's as easy as test driving a vehicle - and Monroe School makes twenty dollars. It's part of the fundraiser "Drive 4 Ford", and school officials say they're hoping to put a smartboard in every classroom.
A field trip to the zoo might be out of budget for a group of second graders, but taking a look into the habitats of giant tortoises through an online video - is possible. Teacher Lisa Taylor says her classroom's smartboard is a new, interactive tool they use weekly. "They think it's exciting to see this in front of them," she says.
Students can also read books, review math facts, and play educational games. Taylor says it's also technology training - something every child should be mastering. "We live in a technology world, and that's what interests kiddos - technology. So we're peaking their interest and delivering a message and delivering learning in a different mode," she says.
Right now Monroe School has two smart board systems, and would like to purchase one for the remaining classrooms. But the price tag is hefty. "They cost about eighteen hundred dollars for one board to get into a room," says principal Julie Stratman.
With state funding cuts and a tight budget, Stratman says buying that many isn't feasible - but that's where the test drive event comes in to help. "Ford donates twenty dollars for every test drive up to three hundred test drives," says representatives from the dealership.
That's the possibility for six thousand dollars. Stratman says they hope to raise enough money to purchase three smartboards - and she says they're going to be proactive in fundraising to get the rest.
"We need to be able to do something, I can't just pick up the phone and say, hey I need these things, how are we going to get these into our kids hands?" she says.
The event runs Friday afternoon from 3:30 to 6 and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
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