Two classrooms filled with tech-savvy students at College School District’s Santa Ynez Elementary were excited to receive a total of 80 Chromebooks that were donated by the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians on Tuesday.
The donation is a portion of the 11th annual Chumash Charity Golf Classic’s proceeds, which will help satisfy the technology needs at four local schools – College School District in Santa Ynez, Los Olivos School District, Solvang School District and Santa Ynez Valley Charter School.
Consultants at Goleta-based tech firm Landspeed, which was commissioned by the tribe to determine the technology needs of the four local schools, recommended that a shipment of the Google-branded laptops would provide the best impact for College School District. The value of the donation totaled more than $28,000.
“All four of these schools had different needs, and we felt it was important to look at each school individually and give them the boost they needed, rather than giving all the schools the same gift,” said Vincent Armenta, Tribal Chairman of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. “We hope these laptops make a real difference for these students as they prepare for their state testing.”
Prior to Tuesday, students would have to rely on antiquated mobile devices or schedule time in a computer lab in order to work on their assignments. Now, the two carts filled with Chromebooks will help fifth- through eighth-graders complete their work without having to leave their desk.
“We had little netbooks that we’ve used for the past eight years, but they were old – the screens were breaking, they froze often or they would take forever to load,” said Maurene Donner, principal at Santa Ynez Elementary. “So, having tools in the classroom that are new, updated and ready to work at faster speeds will make a huge difference.”
The Common Core Standards, which have been implemented to challenge students nationwide to think critically, encourages collaboration, and Donner said having access to these new tools will allow students to work together and prepare for their state testing in the spring.
“This way, they’ll all have their Google accounts and have access to Google Docs, which will help them collaborate on group projects with their classmates. In the Common Core Standards, there’s an emphasis on problem solving, so it’s important for them to have the tools they need to accomplish their tasks. These Chromebooks are a great gift and will make a real difference for these students.”
The Chumash Charity Golf Classic, which was held August 13 at Alisal River Course, raised $120,000 to be shared among the four schools. Gifts for the three remaining schools will be revealed in the coming weeks.
The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians has donated more than $19 million to hundreds of groups, organizations and schools in the community and across the nation as part of the tribe’s long-standing tradition of giving. To find out more about the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians Foundation and its giving programs, visit www.santaynezchumash.org.