Technology has become such a big part of contemporary education. The need to have access to some kind of computer, laptop or tablet, and a connection to the Internet, is more important than ever, particularly as students move into junior high and high school.

However, in a district like Yuma-1 where a high-percentage of students come from low-income families, there are significant barriers to accessing that technology.

Kari Beauprez, a special needs teacher at Yuma High School, sees it every day in her classroom. Many of her students do not have access to technology at home, hindering their ability to achieve to their highest potential. Access at school also is limited, though the district has provided a handful of Chromebooks for use in Beauprez’s classroom. Students make use of them during the school day, and often students will stay after school to take advantage of the technology.

“You would not believe how many that don’t have access to computers at home,” Beauprez said.

She has applied for a local grant to purchase four iPads. She also has begun an online fund-raising effort at DonorsChoose.org. https://www.donorschoose.org/project/resource-rocks-make-today-the-day-to-l/2747037/

The goal is to raise $1,850.39 in order to purchase 13 Kindle Fire HD tablets. The DonorsChoose.org volunteers verify the project, and the amount needed before posting it.

Beauprez’s numerous students all are on Individualized Education Plans (IED), outlining goals they need to achieve each year. It is a multi-level classroom, ranging from significant disabilities to simply needing educational support and learning life skills.

Beauprez’s DonorsChoose.org reads in part, “To have more access to technology would help these students achieve their individual goals. With the technology I could better assist them with online activities, curriculum and lessons for each individual student to achieve their greatness.”

The teacher told the Pioneer her goal is to set it up so students can check-out the tablets to take home for school work in the evenings and the weekends.

Beauprez needs to have the project fully funded by December 28 in order to receive the tablets.

One can call her at 848-5488 if wanting to learn more. A link to the DonorsChoose.org page can be found at the Pioneer’s Facebook page and at the website, yumapioneer.com, under “Links.”

Life skills classroom

Beauprez also is trying to set up a life skills classroom next to her current one for the students who need just that kind of help, such as learning how to prepare meals, do laundry, make a bed, balance a checkbook.

She said she could use donations for that as well.