No matter how sophisticated education becomes, some things won't change. Children will still have to learn the times tables.

Students at Carl Sandburg School, West Valley City, got a boost in the effort when Prudential Insurance Co. donated $800 to the school for video and audio equipment that will be used for many things, including practice in the times tables.Prudential Agent Carbon Lundgren was largely responsible for promoting the school/business partnership. He is a volunteer one morning each week in the elementary school, spending his time helping students who have fallen behind in their studies.

The insurance company sponsors Prudential Partners as a means of promoting the involvement of employees in community affairs.

"This is our way of reaching out to the communities where our agents live and work to show our support for their volunteer service," said Jim Clark, president of western operations, who was at the school to present the equipment.

Lundgren said he conceived of the audio/visual help for the school because "I remembered hearing of a program to help students memorize times tables," he said. "The idea was to play them over and over, first giving the answer, then not giving the answer."

However, the school had VCR players but no camera equipment. The Prudential grant filled that gap.

Friday, children in Ona Patterson's classroom (a sign at the door says it isn't a classroom but the headquarters of Midnight the Whale) tested the news equipment.

Katie Draper, Margaret Neusmeyer, Rainie Martin, Cassandra Steele, Chanelle Hutchings, Kurt Chirsten, Jason McCurdy and Nicholas Fresques usually could pop out the answer to a multiplication problem before the TV could prompt them.

But if they hadn't, and for those in the future who will need assistance, the help is there.