Madison Township Trustee Victor Paini and his wife, Tiffani, awarded two Canal Winchester teachers a $250 technology grant to help offset the costs of introducing technology into the classroom.
Indian Trail Elementary School teachers Stacy Westall and Melissa Hazelbaker share a classroom and jointly applied for the Paini Family Technology Grant earlier in the school year, with the hope of purchasing two document cameras.
"We hope that the cameras will increase innovative technology integration into our second-grade classrooms," Westall said. "We plan on using them to capture student work the entire class can then work with on the brand new iPads that our Parent Teacher Organization purchased for the classrooms at Indian Trail."
Paini, whose career is in technology, said his experience with hiring in the information technology field led him to the conclusion that it would take more than levy funds to keep kids current in school.
"It's tough to find enough skilled technology workers coming out of the local schools, so I'd like to see us change that so our students can succeed in place here and keep our community the great place it is," Paini said.
"To do that, I think if you want a great school system, you have to get involved and make it what you want," he said. "My wife and I know the state funding system is broken, so we're donating to what our passion is and hope others might do that same."
According to Paini, the grant is in its third year and he's hopeful that outreach to other residents and businesses might allow it to increase so it can have a greater impact in the future.
Westall and Hazelbaker said this type of investment can be critical to providing opportunities for students.
"This type of funding allows us to purchase technology tools that we wouldn't be able to have in our classroom unless we purchased it with our own money, so not only is this funding generous, it is a fantastic opportunity for our school district as well," Westall said.
"We're very appreciative of families like the Painis who strengthen our community and school district and we're very hopeful that other teachers will benefit from this type of funding in the future."
Currently, the Paini Family Technology Grant is available to any Canal Winchester school district teacher through an anonymous application process. The Painis make the final selection and award the grant at the end of the school year for use in the next year.