Jan 26, 2001
Press Release

Long Island City, NEW YORK: Congresswoman Carlolyn B. Maloney visited P.S. 17 - The Henry David Thoreau School - in Long Island City today, to amplify the importance of technology in the classroom. P.S. 17 recently received a grant of $7,000 from Verizon for computers, hardware, software, scanners, and printers to expand a program that incorporates online computer research into the educational activities of the students in the K through 5th grade school.

Maloney said of the significance of the new technology, "It's like having the national library at your fingertips. Students really need to integrate computer technology into their learning in order to enter the world today. The diverse resources available through online research will give these students the knowledge and skills they need to do well as they enter adulthood. As a former teacher, I know that hands-on activities are the best way for students to learn and computers invite that sort of engaged education."

Assistant Vice Principal Thea Palos explained, "We are a school moving forward into the new millenium. We are applying for numerous grants, one of which was the Verizon grant, and our focus is to try to connect literacy and technology. We have a multi-cultural school. Our school has a vast diversity of students who bring over 47 languages together in one learning environment. We are very overcrowded and we try very hard to make sure each and every student is immersed in the type education that prepares them for our new economy. We can only improve and thrive if organizations like Verizon continue to support programs like these."

Bill Martin, the Director of Community Affairs for Verizon, said, "We have great partnership with P.S. 17 and community groups like HANAC (Hellenic American Neighborhood Action Committee), which facilitated the grant process. As a result of this Verizon grant, approximately 4 classrooms and 230 students will be brought into world of technology and online resources to enhance their education and prepare them for the future."

Ms. Genny Pollatos, a P.S. 17 teacher and computer staff developer, said, "The more students are introduced to computer technology, the more they develop the skills needed for all types of professional opportunities and even basic skills for everyday living."

BACKGROUND: Maloney is a cosponsor of the federal School Modernization bill (H.R. 4094) that has 229 bipartisan cosponsors, more than enough Members to ensure passage in the House. This bill would help reduce overcrowding and provide New York City's children with modern classroom facilities which are essential for teaching and learning. In New York, 90% of schools report a need to upgrade or repair buildings to good overall condition. Maloney said, "This bipartisan School Modernization bill is a critical first step to help New York's schools rebuild their infrastructure. We can't afford to wait any longer before passing real school modernization to help our schools."