Students at Orchard Elementary School found that the efforts of one teacher and the generosity of a local business added up to one computer lab.
The children will officially unveil their new lab at 7 p.m. March 30, with Gov. Norm Bangerter among those on hand to applaud the school/business effort. Also on hand will be officials of Ken Garff Enterprises, who donated $10,000 toward the project last fall.The Garff officials were alerted to the school's need through a letter from Orchard sixth-grade teacher Lilia Eskelsen, Utah's current Teacher of the Year. She undertook a fund-raising effort as part of a career ladder project.
"It would have taken us three years to raise enough money to purchase the equipment that was obtained through Mr. Garff's generous donation," she said.
The lab also will involve the school's parents. Twenty-five have volunteered to assist the 35 sixth-grade computer aides and classroom teachers in operating the lab. The 26 machines will accommodate each class weekly.
"The kids think they are playing. They don't realize they're working and learning as they use the computers," Eskelsen said.
Garff made his contribution through the Granite Education Foundation, which also will be represented. His private philanthropic enterprise contributed another $10,000 to the foundation for use in the district. Jim White, Garff Enterprises chief executive officer, and his wife, matched with another $10,000.