LIVINGSTON, LA (WAFB) - The Lion's Club International Foundation recently announced it has awarded two grants totaling more than $20,000 to Livingston Parish Public Schools.
A news release sent from the Lion's Club states that $7,700 was awarded to purchase magnifying technology to assist student with visual impairments in the district, as well as $13,825 for portable classroom computers for students at Southside Junior high.
"We are very appreciative of the generosity of the Lions Club organization as its members, and their commitment to advancing learning in our parish," Superintendent Rick Wentzel said. "Our schools have always enjoyed strong community support that allows us to maintain the level of educational excellence that we have in Livingston Parish. This cooperative effort is just another example of that strong partnership."
Lions International District 8-N Grant Administrator Bill Heyerdale and his assistant Judy Dudley, along with several local Lions Club members, presented the grants during a special presentation at Southside Junior High on July 19.
Speech Language Pathologist and Assistive Technologist Jessica Gill said the $7,700 presented to her department will be used to purchase two high performance desktop video magnifiers to be used by students with visual impairments. The large screens, high-definition imagery and magnification provided by these devices allow for self-viewing, reading, distance viewing, optimal contrast and brightness, and full-page text-to-speech features.
Southside Junior High Principal Wes Partin said the $13,825 given to his school will cover half the cost of a wireless laptop cart, which is equipped with enough laptops for an entire classroom. Wireless carts can be utilized by more than one teacher or classroom, maximizing the students' access to technology, he said. Southside Junior High is one of three schools that will reside on a temporary campus again this school year because of damages caused by the August 2016 floods.
"The Lions have gained worldwide recognition for our work to improve sight and prevent blindness. Clearly, our donation to the district's Assistive Technology department is in line with that long-standing mission, which we are proud to support," Heyerdale said. "At the same time, we know there continues to be many needs in the aftermath of the devastating flooding in this parish, and we wanted to make a positive impact on one of the hardest hit schools through our second donation."
He added it is their hope the grants will greatly serve the learning and advancement of Livingston Parish students.