Foundation finds new life with technology goal
Glenview - Several members of the School District 31 Foundation Board meet in the Winkleman School library to look at new technologies and to discuss ways to raise enough money to make the district known for its technology. From left Laura Greenberg, Chairman, Adam Denenberg, Demetria Dimopoulos listen to Director of Technology Dave Del Boccio talk about new tablets. | Joe Cyganowski~For Sun-Times Media
District 31’s Foundation Board
will introduce its plan at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 27, at the Field School, 3131 Techny Road, Northbrook.
Updated: October 25, 2012 2:52PM
NORTHBROOK — The newly reborn West Northfield School District 31 Foundation Board hopes to turn all its students into first class digital kids.
The District’s foundation, which draws members from Northbrook and Glenview, nearly dissolved for lack of volunteers just weeks ago. Many of the board’s former members had moved on as their children “aged out” of the district’s elementary schools.
Once the word went out that the board faced extinction, it not only became revitalized with new blood, but also by parents who want “computerese” to be their children’s second language.
“We wanted a board representing the most diverse community around here and wanted to do something really big that would revolutionize the school district,” said Board Chairman Laura Sanchez-Greenberg, of Northbrook. “So the board decided that Advancing the Classroom Technology (ACT) would be its goal.”
Greenberg is not only the senior vice president of New Futuro, an organization that helps Latinos enter college, but also the mother of Jonah, a 7-year-old Winkelman second grader, and Ben, a 2-year-old in pre-school.
She and the other board members want to make sure School District 31 is “the best in its class on the North Shore,” she said.
“Our district is small — only two schools — so we want to be known as the little district that could,” Greenberg said. “We want people to say, ‘Wow! That’s the school district that has all that technology!’ ”
So the board has decided to raise $250,000 a year, for the next three years, by targeting major corporations to help with the project. A board sub-committee will ask businesses to underwrite events or match money brought in by fundraisers, Greenberg said.
“We will help the school district purchase more technology, keeping in mind its goals and initiatives,” said Foundation Board member Adam Denenberg, of Northbrook, who is leading the technology effort.
Denenberg is the technology director for Wilmette’s Public School District 39, as well as the father of Elle, a 7-year-old second grader, and Ty, a 5-year-old kindergartner, both also at Winkelman.
The board is considering whether to provide every youngster with a tablet or a similar device that could be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, he said.
“Children today are born into this world using technology pretty much in every aspect of their lives,” Denenberg said. “We are looking at reports, research and what other districts are doing to teach them how to use these devices do they can learn and discover, collaborate and communicate.”
Susan Harrison, president of the district’s Parent Teacher Club, said the organization supports the foundation’s efforts.
“We’re all about the same thing,” she added. “We want to benefit the kids.”