Tech Grant Gives to Calif. School

9 years 1 month 1 week ago October 31, 2007 Oct 31, 2007 Wednesday, October 31 2007 Wednesday, October 31, 2007 10:04:12 PM CDT in News

A state program, funded by the vocational enhancement grant, provides computer upgrades for schools offering "skills" courses.

Stacy O'Haver is fortunate. This is her first year teaching at California High School. Her predecessor applied for a state grant to install computers and the funds came just as O'Haver started teaching her business class.

"She budgeted for the money we were gonna get, and you have to separate it into categories, the equipment and computer software," said O'Haver. And I came to the district and so I got to go shopping basically for all of it."

A vocational enhancement grant, given by Missouri, helps rural districts like California funds 75% of the cost of classroom computers. The district pays the rest.

Vocational Enhancement Grants are available in Family and Consumer Sciences, Business, Agriculture, and Marketing.

Now teachers who want to apply for those grants can apply once every three years.

Principal Scott Jarvis says the grant is valuable in helping his students keep up with changing technology.

"This is a great way for small, rural American schools in the state of Missouri to provide your kids with technology, and to ensure we're always gonna have some type of technology," said Jarvis,"Vocational Enhancement Grants have made a big difference in California."

Teachers hope to see that big difference in their students.

"I think that they get a good experience once they leave here, whether it be just the basics or more advanced stuff for their fields that they want to go into," said O'Haver.

The California school district has received three grants in the past five years. As computer technology changes, officials expect to apply for more grants.

Teachers in other districts who want a vocational enhancement grant for their students should apply in February.

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