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White House ConnectED Initiative Comes to Norfolk

On Friday, Jan. 22, 2016, Norfolk Public Schools Berkley Campostella Early Childhood Center (BCECC) celebrated the power of technology to transform the classroom as students received new Apple iPads outfitted with mobile broadband from AT&T.

BCECC is the proud recipient of one of 114 grants from Apple and the only recipient in Virginia. This grant is part of Apple’s $100 million commitment to the White House ConnectED initiative. AT&T, another ConnectED contributor, is helping to expand learning beyond the school as students will be allowed to take their devices with mobile broadband home.

In addition to the 473 iPads for students, the grant also includes a MacBook Air and iPad mini for every teacher, iPads for teacher’s assistants, an Apple TV for every classroom, ongoing professional development for teachers and a continuing partnership with Apple to ensure successful implementation.

Congressman Bobby Scott, Del. Daun Hester, Councilman Paul Riddick, School Board Chair Rodney Jordan, WHRO President and C.E.O. Bert Schmidt, and Apple and AT&T executives were on hand to participate and watch every Berkley Campostella ECC student receive free iPads.

While Curious George waved to the children, Bert Schmidt, president and CEO of WHRO, encouraged the students to have fun and learn with their new iPads. “You’re all in for a treat,” Schmidt said.

"This new technology will have a tremendous impact on our students and our greater community by enhancing our academic achievement and transforming the classroom as we know it," stated Dr. Doreatha White, Principal of BCECC. "The BCECC faculty and staff believe that college begins in Pre-Kindergarten. Gaining access to this transformative technology will prepare our students for life-long learning and opportunities. This will close the digital divide, not only in our school but in our community.”