LOUISIANA EDUCATION INITIATIVE
EXPANDING THE VISION: STATE-OF-THE-ART TECHNOLOGY FOR EVERY CHILD IN LOUISIANA
The Virtue Foundation Louisiana Education Initiative was launched in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, which devastated the state of Louisiana along with neighboring Mississippi and Texas. The initiative was conceived in conjunction with world-renowned education experts Professors Seymour Papert and Tod Machover from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) Media lab, as well as Prof. Chris Deede, Director of the Technology, Innovation, and Education Division at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
In October 2005, Virtue Foundation, in conjunction with the State of Louisiana Governor, Kathleen Blanco, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education ("BESE"), and the Louisiana Board of Regents committed to provide educational computer hardware and software for children displaced by the events of August 2005. The Virtue Foundation Initiative was formally launched at the Virtue Foundation co-sponsored education forum, "Louisiana: Rebuilding Through Education," which set forth the means by which education in Louisiana could be revitalized and lead to economic development, workforce training, and innovation in technology.
On March 9, 2006, Virtue Foundation donated 60 Apple iBook G4 laptop computers on mobile learning carts with camera, video, and music equipment to Hammond Westside Upper Elementary School in Tangipahoa Parish and the Renaissance Village Trailer Park in Baker, a district in Baton Rouge. The trailer was provided by Rosie O'Donnell's For All Kids Foundation, and the project was covered by ABC Nightline's Cynthia McFadden, airing on March 16, 2006.
This laptop program, which has received positive feedback from the participants, has garnered support from a broad spectrum of Louisiana educational institutions and educators, including the Superintendents of Schools Louis Joseph and Lester Klotz of Tangipahoa and Baker and Southeastern University, who provided teacher trainees for the after-school program.
Virtue Foundation's vision is to build on the initial success of the after-school laptop program pioneered in Hammond Westside Upper Elementary School and the Renaissance Village Trailer Park by expanding the program to provide state-of-the-art technology for children to be used as part of their formal educational curriculum.
Critical to the success of the program will be a commitment from Louisiana higher education, school superintendents, principals, local teachers, and trainers, who can collectively develop new ways of teaching supported by the expert faculty from M.I.T. and Harvard.
Virtue Foundation sees the Virtue Foundation Louisiana Education Initiative as a unique opportunity to redevelop and rebuild education in Louisiana, and hopes the program will serve as a template for future initiatives both in the United States and around the world.
On July 17-19, 2006, Virtue Foundation and Apple Computer will be hosting a three-day symposium in New Orleans for education leaders in the State of Louisiana to collaborate and explore the exciting future of technology-enabled education. Virtue Foundation will be accepting applications at this symposium from schools that are interested in participating in the Virtue Foundation Education Initiative.
Virtue Foundation would like to thank all those who have warmly embraced this initiative, and believes that from the tragedy of Katrina will spring the hope of a new and better education for young Louisianans who represent the future and pride of this great state.
Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.
—Martin Luther King, Jr.
Tell me and I'll forget. Show me, and I may not remember.
Involve me, and I'll understand.
—Native American Saying
|1040 First Ave. Suite 116
New York, NY 10022
|New York: 212-355-2227
Los Angeles: 310-384-5000