Flint, MI—The Genesee Intermediate School District Board of Education approved the purchase of 120 10-inch iPads for the Flint Educare Center earlier this week.
“iPads will be distributed in two ways: to our preschool and infant toddler children enrolled in our virtual classrooms and also to our students enrolled in face-to-face learning [who] will be eligible to attend kindergarten in the fall of 2021,” Dr. Jodi Ramos, school director of Educare Flint, said.
The iPads were purchased through a $35,880 donation by the Community Foundation of Greater Flint.
Educare is a national, research-based program that prepares “young, at-risk children for school,” according to the organization’s website. Flint is home to Michigan’s only Educare center and serves 220 Flint children from birth to 5-years-old.
The majority of Educare students go on to attend Flint Schools, Ramos said.
“We recognize that with multiple children learning from home, the youngest learners may not always have regular access to needed technologies. Because virtual instruction is being offered at Educare Flint and its sister school, Cummings Great Expectations, it was important to us that our 3- and 4-year-olds had barrier-free access to technology,” Executive Director of Educare Flint & Flint Early Childhood Collaborative Ja’Nel Jamerson said.
The center plans to “push out” curriculum-based applications to support individualized learning, Ramos said. “[Students] will also be able to use different applications that will allow them to interact with each other in an electronic format.”
Knowing how to use technology is critical to a student’s success and Ramos said she hopes the iPads will help students and their families become familiar with online platforms.
The Community Foundation of Greater Flint was not available for comment prior to the publication of this article.