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Generous Gift Equips Students

Casey and Michele Washington (right) present iPad tablet computers to 2nd grade teachers (from left) Melissa Burrell, Lauren Byrd, Donna Blake, Christie Lowery, Kathy Yarborough and (not pictured) Brendi Sparks. – Photo by Jack Gurner

By Jack Gurner

WATER VALLEY – Second graders at Davidson Elementary School will get much needed exposure to technology thanks to a generous gift from a local business man with a solid belief in public education.
Casey Washington, owner of Valley Tool, Inc., and his wife, Michelle, presented 25 iPad tablet computers to the six 2nd grade teachers at DES on behalf of his company and its employees.
Washington is also reaching out to the community to help expose as many youngsters as possible to technology by helping raise funds or sponsoring the purchase of similar devices for the schools.
The local industrialist said that each year he asks teachers what they could use to improve the ability to educate their students. “This year I had a small group of teachers telling me the impact of using an iPad or Chrome Book to assist with the learning environment.”
Teacher Christie Lowery put the idea out in the form of a request on Donors, an online charity site that gives public school teachers from all over America a place to request help with classroom projects. Donors can then give to projects of their choice.
“He saw our need,” Lowery said, “and bought more than we needed.”
Washington believes that the focus should be on the grammar school, since that is where the bulk of initial learning takes place. “Start them young and get them use to technology,” he said.
He noted that the request for help was not made by the school district, but by the teachers who know what they need.
“One hundred percent of your contribution will be used toward this project. I, like many of you, currently contribute to various clubs, organizations, sports, cancer research, etc,” Washington said. “I personally cannot think of a better place to contribute than to a local effort that will have direct impact on the children we see each day.”
DES Principal Brad Parker added his endorsement to the project and said that the devices would help in several ways by monitoring the progress of students and improving and accelerating reading skills.
He added that the devices would be very helpful in preparing for the 3rd grade reading assessments. “Teachers can also use the iPads for remediation and enrichment for the Common Core State Standards.”

Tax deductible contributions can be sent to:
WVSD Technology Fund
PO Box 663
Water Valley, MS 38965

Receipts will be mailed to the remit address, according to Washington.
For additional information, contact Washington at 473-3066 (Valley Tool, Inc.), or Superinten-dent Kim Chrestman at the school district office, 473-1203 or email

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