New York State Sen. Rob Ortt presented a ceremonial check Thursday to the Lockport City School District in the amount of $50,000 to help purchase a van that'll be used as a "TechMobile."
During the summer months, the "TechMobile" will stop at different neighborhoods throughout the city, so individuals can have access to technology, books, arts and crafts and healthy snacks.
"The 'TechMobile' is a unique concept that engages both kids and adults of all ages," Ortt said. "It's my pleasure to be able to support this project that brings the community together, and gets children outside, interacting with each other while keeping their minds active during the summer break."
Superintendent Michelle T. Bradley said, "Lockport City School District is very appreciative of the attention by and generosity of Sen. Ortt in support of the district's first-ever 'TechMobile' project. Many of our students come from economically disadvantaged circumstances, so this provides them with an opportunity to improve their skills and helps to level the playing field for them. The 'TechMobile' provides all of our children with a distinct advantage that'll prepare them for their future."
This past summer, the school district borrowed a Ridge Road Express bus to use as a makeshift "TechMobile," visiting two neighborhoods a day, four days a week. Working with the Lockport Public Library, the "TechMobile" was able to bring educational activities, iPads equipped with math and ELA apps, and books to more than 900 kids and adults.
The funding, secured by Ortt as part of the 2016-17 state budget, will allow the Lockport City School District to purchase its own vehicle for next summer. The school district is currently working on a customized design for the "TechMobile."
Pictured at Roy B. Kelley Elementary School, from left: (front row) Roy B. Kelley fourth-grade students Jamar Swanson, Lianna Dever, Amire Tate and Lashawnda Harper; Lockport City School District Motor Equipment Operator Linda Cline; and library media specialist at Roy B. Kelley and Anna Merritt elementary schools Rachel O'Sheeham; (middle row) Roy B. Kelley fourth-grade teacher Tom Sarratori; Asst. Supt. of Finance for Lockport City School District Deborah A. Coder; Sen. Rob Ortt; Lockport City School District Superintendent Michelle T. Bradley; and Lockport Public Library Children's Librarian Linda Deeks; (back row) Aramark Food Service Director for Lockport City School District Tom Heagerty, and Lockport City School District Maintenance Supervisor Kevin Guay.