Principal: iPads will ‘open so many doors’ for students

Burton Elementary received $1 million grant from Apple for tablets

GRPS, Burton Elementary, iPads
GRPS Burton Elementary students use their new iPads, which they received through a grant from Apple. (Oct. 20, 2016)


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — It’s not uncommon to give a teacher an apple. But what about an apple for every student — an Apple iPad.

Grand Rapids Public Schools’ Burton Elementary received a $1 million grant from Apple to get an iPad for each student. Students and staff members wore T-shirts that read “An apple a day is the new Burton way” as the tablets were handed out to students Thursday.

GRPS, Burton Elementary, iPads
Burton Elementary students get T-shirts to celebrate getting new iPads. (Oct. 20, 2016)

“Today is a momentous and wonderful occasion,” Principal Allison Woodside said.

“Burton School is the best school ever and every student should get an iPad,” GRPS Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal told students at a morning assembly about the iPads.

The students and staff at Burton have known this day was coming since October of 2014, when they were awarded the grant.

“We’re so excited! We’ve been waiting forever,” third-grade teacher Mandy Williams said. “Our kids work so hard. I’ve never met a group of kids who deserve this more than these kids.”

GRPS, Burton Elementary, iPads
Burton Elementary students receive their new iPads. (Oct. 20, 2016)

She and the rest of the teachers received their iPads in March. Since then, they’ve been learning and planning while they were supported by a crew from Apple.

“We’ve learned how we can just implement and change our teaching through technology,” Williams said.

“It’ and it’s really emotional to think about how this is going to change their lives,” Woodside said.

Woodside, in her first year as principal at Burton, was emotional during Thursday morning’s assembly.

“Having technology allows you to learn in so many different ways. It allows you to explore so many different things,” she said. “You can see news from all over the world. You can communicate with people all over the world and it really just draws in all these different experiences and this different knowledge they never would have had without that.”

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