Before they can deliver a Super Bowl to the city, members of the New York Jets delivered a better education to one Queens school.
Gang Green came together with Tequipment, a learning technology provider, to donate 13 SMARTBoards to P.S. 46, The Alley Pond School, on Friday, May 21.
Matt Higgins, Jets executive vice president of business operations, said that SMARTBoards not only facilitate learning in students, it also levels the playing field for students with special needs.
“These boards allow students with special needs to sit in with the other children,” said Higgins, who is also a former student of Alley Pond. “For me, it is a gift to be able to give back to an institution that gave so much to me.”
Higgins brought along current Jets Brandon Moore, Mike DeVito, Ropati Pitoitua and Britt Davis to help deliver the boards and to participate in a demonstration. The Jets were pitted against students in a football trivia game called, “Jet-pardy,” which the students won handily.
Janet Elias, Alley Pond’s tech facilitator, has been working with SMARTBoards for about five years and believes that this technology allows for nonstop learning in a fun environment that kids can really enjoy.
“Everyday this technology keeps the students engaged in learning,” said Elias. “This is the pencil and paper of our time and the kids just love it.”
SMARTBoards are interactive whiteboards that can be used as projectors, enlarged computer screens and can be “written” on by fingers big and small. The complete multimedia center allows students to see, hear and participate in their teacher’s lesson.
Keith Elgart, chief executive officer of Tequipment, said that SMARTBoards help to make the learning experience less passive and gives students a resource to greatly increase their capabilities.
“Children are active and engaged with their work when using these Boards,” said Elgart. “We’ve been providing technologies that transform classrooms and the way students learn and educators teach since our inception, so we were thrilled when they Jets reached out to us.”
The relationship between the Jets and Tequipment was facilitated by PENCIL Partnership Program, which builds and supports relationships between the private sector and school principals.
The Jets figure that their partnership with Tequipment can go beyond Alley Pond and benefit other schools all over the metropolitan area.
“Through our partnership with Tequipment, we are able to provide not only more boards to P.S. 46, but will soon be able to offer to other schools around the region,” said Higgins.