Those participating in a recent presentation of education technology grants funded by DETEL and the Avoyelles Parish School Board included (from left, sitting) Sarah Dupont of Avoyelles High, Nettie Jeansonne of Avoyelles High, Lori Boudreaux of Marksville Elementary, Tammy Tassin of Marksville Elementary, (standing) Simone Voinche of Marksville Elementary, Maggi Pepiton of Marksville Elementary, DETEL owner Darryl Deshotel, Stacey Bordelon of Marksville Elementary, Brandy Dupont of Plaucheville Elementary and APSB Federal Programs Director Irma Andress. Not pictured are Felicia Armand of LaSAS, Michel Morgan of Plaucheville Elementary and Micah Bordelon of Avoyelles High. {Photo by Garland Forman}

DETEL helps fund 11 grants for teachers in parish

By GARLAND FORMAN
Co-Editor
Eleven Avoyelles Parish teachers have better equipment in their classrooms, thanks to grant donations by DETEL, a computer technology company in Hessmer.
DETEL sponsored 11 Rural Education Achievement Program-Rural Low Income School Program (REAP-RLIS) grants. The teachers receiving those grants were recognized during the Avoyelles Parish School Board meeting on March 7.
DETEL owner Darryl Deshotel presented the grants, saying he is pleased to give back to the school system. The grants totaled almost $59,000 with DETEL providing $29,000 and the School Board put up $30,000.
Deshotel also announced his company will be giving a $1,000 scholarship to a graduating senior at the end of this school year.
All Avoyelles Parish classroom teachers were eligible to apply for the REAP Grant, which can be used to purchase technology equipment to enhance student learning.
There were 17 applications parishwide and 11 grants were awarded.
Of the 11 grants, five went to Marksville Elementary teachers, three to Avoyelles High teachers, two to Plaucheville Elementary teachers and one to a LaSAS teacher.
“This was great for the Avoyelles district,” Federal Programs Director Irma Andress said. “Some of our SMARTboards were getting older and needed to be replaced. The older SMARTboards had a projector in the ceiling, but these will look like a television and will not have a projector.”
Eight of the 11 teachers will receive a SMART Interactive Flat Panel (SMARTboard) to use in the classroom. Nine of the teachers received a laptop computer to use with a SMARTboard.
Two of the teachers received a class set of 30 small laptop computers, called Chrome Books, to use in the classrooms. They also received a charging cart for the laptops.
Chrome Books are a new, faster computer that start in seconds and offers thousands of apps. It has built-in virus protection and backs up information in the “Cloud.”
“The purpose of the REAP Grant is to assist rural school districts in using federal resources more effectively to improve the quality of instruction and student academic achievement,” Andress explained. “The RLIS program is an initiative that provides grant funds to rural school systems that serve concentrations of children from low-income families.”
The equipment must be used to integrate technology into the curriculum. Teachers must state their goals and objectives for the equipment and must commit to present two technology workshops and attend at least two district workshops.
“The APSB is very appreciative of Mr. Deshotel’s generous donation towards the grant awards,” Andress noted.

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