(From the Joplin School District)
In the wake of the May 22, 2011 catastrophic tornado that damaged and destroyed much of Joplin, Missouri, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Embassy in Washington, DC, on behalf of the people of the UAE, has pledged a significant donation to Joplin Schools (JS) to assist the school district in meeting its goal to provide all enrolled high school students with laptops at the start of the 2011-12 academic year. These laptops will allow students to attend “virtual classrooms” while Joplin High School is being rebuilt, and access educational resources, such as textbooks.
The UAE Embassy is providing an initial $500,000 donation to support Joplin Schools’ One-to-One Initiative, which aims to provide all 2,200 Joplin High School students with a personal laptop computer. In addition, the Embassy has issued a challenge grant, in which it will match, dollar-for-dollar, any funds donated to the One-to-One Initiative, up to an additional $500,000; bringing the total UAE Embassy grant to $1,000,000. The Embassy issued the challenge in the hope that encouraging others to donate will help JS swiftly meet its goal of issuing all students a laptop at the start of the school year.
“We are so fortunate to have the support from the UAE Embassy. This donation will help us reach our One-to-One Laptop Initiative goal and provide a truly interactive learning experience for our high school students,” comments Dr. C.J. Huff, Superintendent of Joplin Schools. “This contribution will not only provide technology to Joplin High School, but also help prepare our students for 21st Century jobs.”
Joplin High School, the system’s only high school, was one of three JS facilities that were completely destroyed by the tornado.As students will be housed in a variety of locations as the district rebuilds, personal laptops will allow JS faculty to deliver a continuous curriculum to students during this period of uncertainty. Further, these laptops will serve to benefit the system, and its students, as they prepare to meet the challenges of this technological age, through this recovery period and beyond.
“The entire world was touched by the devastation caused in Joplin by the May 22 tornado. Given the scale of the disaster, including the destruction of the community’s only high school, we felt it was important to provide assistance,” said Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to the U.S. “The One-to-One initiative is a truly innovative idea that will not only give current students the tools they need to start the school year, but position future Joplin Schools students on the cutting-edge of learning.”
Joplin Schools and the UAE Embassy anticipate this grant as the start of a longer-term partnership between the two organizations. JS and the Embassy hope to work together to develop programming that will deepen cultural understating and awareness between the U.S. and the UAE.
For anyone interested in helping to meet the UAE Embassy’s matching challenge grant for the One-to-One initiative by August 17th, please contact Kim Vann at 417-625-5202.