President's Project - John Stutz 2019-2020 - Chromebooks
 
Observation:
One of our community neighbors brought to our attention during President John's term that our local Walnut Grove Elementary school was in need of Chromebooks.  If your kids are grown and out of the house, you may not realize that a large percentage of schooling is now conducted online.  Especially now with distance learning.
 
Background:
On Friday December 20, 2019 a meeting was held with our community neighbor along with a small committee.  The committee included President John and President-Elect Rob and 2 additional club members.  Excellent documentation and information was provided about where the school is successful and where the school is reaching out for help.  The Principal wanted our Rotary committee to have a full understand on their strengths and weaknesses.
 
Understanding the Need:
It may help you understand, that our Rotary Club of Walnut Grove is predominately an Agriculture community and has been for multiple generations.  We are dealing with very proud, multi-generations, cultural patriarchal, old tradition families where the head of the households are migrant workers who lack education their children are thriving for.  Many points were discussed.  While our elementary school is well above district average in English and Math according to the State tests, 160 out of 178 or 89.9% of the children are on food assistant programs.  Students receive quality education that are AVID quality programs.  The staff’s dedication goes beyond teaching.  A true testament to the devotion of the Principal and staff. 
 
Touring our Elementary School and Meeting the Students:
In early January 2020 the committee toured our Elementary School.  It was such a delight to see the students thriving at all grade levels.

Questions and Answers:
After a very hearty discussion period, with good questions and answers, the committee determined there is great potential where Rotary could help propel our Elementary School to achieve a higher level of support for education accomplishments. They just need additional tools!  It was time to ask what were the top priorities for Rotary to consider.
 
Recipients Request:
The Principle prepared the top few items to place on a wish list. What we noticed is how ‘normal’ the list is, yet the school doesn’t have these tools.  It was obvious to President John that the #1 on top of list was our goal.  Chromebooks!  The school was looking to increase the number of Chromebooks - eventually having 1 for each student.  Currently the school has 70 for 178 students.
 
We learned that better funded schools receive new Chromebooks each year and had 1 Chromebook for each student.  The 70 Chromebooks currently in use at the Elementary School are 4-6 years old with a life expectancy of 6-7 years.  It was obvious the current supply at the school would soon be unusable.  Something needed to begin soon.  The Principal did most of the hard research work and had the estimates already prepared.  In addition to the Chromebooks, each one needs a charging station, be compliant for the school and district, e-waste fees, software purchased and installed, and of course a warranty for young users. 
 
Presentation to the Executive Board:
President John's decision to make this his Project was met with huge support and was approved at our next board meeting.  All is good or is it?
 
The End - The Pandemic and the Chromebooks:
In February 2020 we started to experience the soon to be talked about covid-19 pandemic.  With approval to move forward, President John had the funds released to the school to begin the now lengthy process to acquire the Chromebooks.  With distance learning on the horizon, supplies where dwindling fast, people were adjusting to work, and completing projects was taking more time.  In the end, our students are delighted to have additional Chromebooks.  It was worth all it took to accomplish.  We are so pleased with President John's Project!  He has left behind a legacy.
 
Coming Soon!  In the Spirit of Giving - Press The Button:
You too can be a part of this exciting project too.  Just click on the, Press The Button, located on our website pages, then select the amount and project you would like to support.  Thank you in advance for any little amount.  It all adds up and because of your support, our schools benefits.
 
If you have any questions, please contact the Rotary Club of Walnut Grove directly.
Be safe, be healthy!