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Allegheny Energy gives South $30,000 technology grant

October 17, 2000

Allegheny Energy gives South $30,000 technology grant



By TARA REILLY / Staff Writer


The construction of a science lab recently began at South Hagerstown High School without the Washington County Board of Education knowing how it would pay for the computers to equip the new room, said Supervisor of Secondary Science Sandy Graff.

On Tuesday afternoon, the board found out it wouldn't have to worry any longer.

South High was awarded the first $30,000 TechConnect Grant from Allegheny Energy, a pilot grant to kick off the new TechConnect program.

Local and state education officials, including State Superintendent of Schools Nancy Grasmick, County Commissioners and other community members were on hand for the announcement.

Allegheny Energy plans to provide 10 TechConnect grants starting next year throughout its five-state service area, each grant for $30,000.

"We were building the lab before we got the grant," Graff said. "But we didn't know how we would get the technology."

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Graff said the grant will be used to buy 18 computers, scanners, printers and a projection system.

"We are thrilled because this grant not only recognizes us for our accomplishments in technology education, it also provides us with the necessary resources to take our program to an even higher level," said Michael Shockey, principal of South High.

To be considered for the grant, South High and other Washington County schools submitted proposals that described their current technology instruction and how the grant could improve their programs. A committee of educators and business leaders reviewed the applications and selected South High.

"The great thing about this is it allows the schools to send in a proposal telling us what their needs are," William Mann, manager of the Local Government Affairs Department of Allegheny Energy.

Schools Superintendent Herman G. Bartlett encouraged other businesses to become a part of the education system and offer similar programs.

"You are investing in the future business leaders of our county," Bartlett said of Allegheny Energy. "I would like to challenge the other businesses to do likewise."

In a statement issued by Allegheny Energy, the company said the grants will help close the "digital divide" that could limit access to computers and technology to students living outside the major metropolitan areas.

"The goal of TechConnect is to ensure that students in our region have the tools and knowledge they need to succeed and do not fall victim to the "digital divide," said Victoria V. Schaff, Allegheny Energy's vice president of external affairs. "This inaugural grant will assist South Hagerstown High School in advancing its technology program and better preparing students for higher education and beyond."

Grasmick said people lacking in cutting edge computer skills will be have a hard time finding jobs in the workforce.

"Technology has become the new basic in education that, like reading, writing and math, absolutely must be mastered if we want our students to have every opportunity to succeed in the workplace and in life," Grasmick said.

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