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BECU donates to Sunnyside

Sunnyside Elementary fourth-graders Philip Reed, left, and Coby Kolling will soon be using Chromebooks for their projects in their school library. - Kirk Boxleitner
Sunnyside Elementary fourth-graders Philip Reed, left, and Coby Kolling will soon be using Chromebooks for their projects in their school library.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

MARYSVILLE — Sunnyside Elementary is among 46 Western Washington schools to benefit from BECU’s 13th annual awarding of more than $100,000 in community grants to support education projects that help promote student excellence.

Sunnyside Elementary librarian Nancy Bono explained that BECU’s award of $2,389.20 to her school will be used to purchase eight Chromebook laptops to supplement the seven existing desktop computers in the library, most of which are about a decade old.

“We’re teaching about 300 students in the third, fourth and fifth grades how to develop the technological skills to research the answers to questions, and to find information that’s accurate and reliable, through the use of digital media,” Bono said.

From there, students are tasked with presenting that information clearly and concisely through applications such as Word and PowerPoint.

“We want them to use critical thinking and problem-solving skills to evaluate information from the Internet,” Bono said. “We’re also making sure they learn how to use that information in an ethical way, by citing their sources in a proper manner, and not plagiarizing.”

It’s increasingly difficult for students to meet those needs with the current crop of computers at Sunnyside, especially since one of the desktop machines’ monitors just went out on Wednesday, Feb. 19.

In the meantime, Sunnyside fourth-graders such as Serenity Turner, Coby Kolling and Philip Reed have been working at researching and presenting information on the Oregon Trail.

“It’s been hard to try and find the right information to put into our presentations,” Kolling said.

Still, all three students have been pleasantly surprised by how much they’re enjoyed the project, with Reed appreciating the teamwork behind it, while Turner welcomed learning more about subjects such as Fort Kearney.

“I thought this would be boring, but it’s been kind of fun,” Turner said.

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