MISSISSAUGA, Ont. - Five Ontario schools in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) have received $50,000 worth of technology from Sharp Electronics of Canada as part of its Sharp@School pilot program. The company is providing calculators, collaboration and professional displays and air purifiers to ensure students at elementary and high schools have equitable access to tools for learning and to help with student success.
The participating schools include Monarch Park Collegiate Institute, Lakeshore Collegiate Institute, Etobicoke School of the Arts and James S. Bell Junior Middle Sports and Wellness Academy in the Toronto District School Board (TDSB); and Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Elementary School in the York Catholic District School Board (YCDSB).
In many cases, access to technology depends on students’ ability to bring their own devices to school. Providing calculators to students in need will help them be successful and reduce distractions from phones. Sharp’s EL243SB calculators will support numeracy programs in Grade 3 and above and EL501XBWH and ELW516XGBSL scientific calculator models will support high school students as they learn complex functions in Grade 9 and throughout their high school careers. Sharp has donated almost 2,000 calculators to the schools.
According to Karen Doherty Ross, Secondary Teacher, Assistant Curriculum Leader of Mathematics, Monarch Park Collegiate Institute, “Providing a calculator to junior students equips them with a tool they will use throughout their high school life and beyond. It also promotes responsibility and access to mathematics, encouraging continued studies throughout high school and post-secondary. With the new challenges we face this school year, the Sharp donation will help us ensure students do not need to share calculators. As mentioned, our junior students will keep the calculators throughout their high-school career. Senior students in need of a calculator will be loaned a calculator for the full quadmester to support math and science courses.”
“We’re very excited to be a part of this pilot program. Our hope is to create an equitable learning environment so technology can be equally accessed and used to support student learning and success,” said Melissa Michailidis, Mathematics Department, Etobicoke School for the Arts. “Getting students familiar with a calculator model in Grade 9 makes for a smoother transition as they progress into more advanced classes, and allows them to be well prepared for the future.”
During the pandemic, students have been asked to minimize what they bring to school and to reduce the number of items they share for safety reasons. “By having that resource in their classroom, students no longer have to worry about bringing their own or sharing with others,” added Michailidis.
The donation of a Sharp AQUOS Board® collaboration display will provide students at Lakeshore Collegiate Institute with the chance to work together on a large digital canvas, creating opportunities for creativity and collaboration.
In other schools, professional displays will be used to share announcements and student accomplishments and improve access to information for the student body. For mathematics departments, teachers will use the displays to share locations of extra help for students in need and math challenges/solved problems of the week.
Sharp has also donated air purifiers for use in classrooms without windows.
“We’re delighted to launch our ‘Sharp@School’ pilot program to help students and teachers in our community, providing access to tools and equipment that will enhance education,” said Carmine Cinerari, President, Sharp Electronics of Canada. “Technology such as collaboration displays and calculators can have an immense impact on how students learn and work together, and how teachers can educate. We’re proud to launch this program, and to improve learning environments in classrooms across the GTA.”
To learn more about the Sharp@School initiative and specific donation details, visit the Simply Better Living Blog here
“The Sharp professional display will become our very own digital display case. Health and Safety reminders relating to YCDSB and York Region Public Health COVID-19 pandemic protocols, local school initiatives, samples of student work and updated monthly news are some of the ways in which the Sharp display will be used by the school community. The school may also communicate its anti-bullying initiatives and announce our monthly Virtue Awards which celebrate the success of students who demonstrate great character. Staff and administration will use it to highlight school board updates and other school-related news. The vision is to create slideshows highlighting all the exciting things that are happening at our school to keep school staff, students and visitors up-to-date.”