Power Up 4 Learning (P4L) is a partnership between Alameda Municipal Power (AMP) and the Alameda Education Foundation (AEF) that enables AMP customers to designate an amount to be added to their monthly power bill. AMP collects these donations and provides them to AEF to support technology needs at Alameda public schools. Thanks to Power Up 4 Learning, during the 2011-2012 school year 33 projects and over 2500 students from Alameda public schools benefited from these funds. Projects were funded via mini-grants using “Donor’s Choose,” an online charity for teachers. A sampling of the impact made by these funded projects include:
- Reading Intervention and Technology; Expanding Opportunities
Description and Results: “What’s it like to not be able to read in your native language, but to also be even more challenged because you have a learning issue and have even more trouble learning to read in English?” This is the challenge of many students in one Alameda elementary school, where students speak 75 different languages, 25% are low-income and many don’t have access to technology at home. Ipads and a VGA adapter purchased through the grant helped over 100 students in the school’s reading intervention program. “That is many lives enhanced with this donation!”
- Help Us Make Technology Better!
Description and Results: “Technology can open up a child’s world to make it more interesting to learn.” Many students at this elementary school don’t have access to technology at home. 25% of the students are low-income and students speak 27 different languages. Funds were used to purchase a CPA response system that is attached to a Mobi, allowing the teacher to put information on the screen for students to learn from. The response system allows this to be interactive. VGA adapters allow iPods and iPads that teachers have to be attached to laptops and overhead projectors. The results? “Wow, words don’t come close enough to describe how thankful I am for the funding of this technology….it will make the lessons much more interactive and fun for my students. They won’t even know they are learning! It will also enable me to have instant feedback….(and) track where they are going wrong, not just that they got the wrong answer.” The 10 VGA adapters were shared with 9 other teachers, touching the lives of over 300 students!
- Science – Touch It, See It, Feel It. It’s the Only Way to Learn.
“There is nothing like hands-on learning for a concept to be burned into the mind of a young student. I am asking for my students to be able to hold a magnet and feel the tug of two magnets attracting each other. With a set of prism lenses, my students would be able to see how light bends and separates. They could literally hold a rainbow in their hands! I want my students to be able to observe, feel and take apart an anatomy model. Now they just look at pictures in a book.” With P4L funds, this 5th grade teacher was able to purchase the hands-on scientific materials requested that have “opened a window for my students to see the amazing way light and magnetism work. My students will be able to carry the lessons learned for a lifetime.”
- Time for STEM: Science Technology Engineering & Mathmatics
The interactive and hands-on science, technology and math materials for this high poverty elementary school have “provided my students with great activities that can be used throughout the day to make the most of every learning moment that we have together.”
- What’s Your Sine?
This Alameda high school – a “mecca of diversity” – needed scientific calculators for students who could not afford to purchase them to enable them to have equal access to learning as those who could afford the calculators. These calculators were used in several math classes, from geometry to algebra, and resulted in increased access to the lessons and “increased the engagement” of many students who did not have access to the calculators previously. It also resulted in a dedicated teachers “grinning ear to ear.”
These are just a few examples of the huge impact Power Up 4 Learning made on classes, teachers, and thousands of student lives! A full listing of the projects funded – and student lives impacted – can be found here: http://www.donorschoose.org/donor/25770 AEF is working closely with the Alameda Unified School District and school sites to determine the most effective ways to impact technology needs with Power Up 4 Learning funding. In the fall of 2012, Power Up 4 Learning funds will be distributed for technology needs in high school academic intervention classes. The Alameda Education Foundation and Alameda Municipal Power have established a 2012-2013 goal of 125 new Power Up 4 Learning donors in honor of AMP’s 125th anniversary. Our financial goal this year is $10,000, but we expect that amount to rise exponentially in the coming years.