At a TEACH NYS sponsored forum this week in Boro Park, yeshiva representatives throughout New York City received good news from the New York City Department of Education (NYC-DOE) that thousands of yeshiva students will be receiving brand new computers through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Laptops, e-readers, and Leapfrog’s “Tag Readers” will be distributed to thousands of Title I students in yeshivas to assist them in their study of math, reading, and English as a Second Language (ESL). This new program will bring in millions of dollars worth of technology equipment to yeshivas.
The news that yeshivas will be receiving new computers comes in the wake of a successful effort to secure tens of millions of dollars in new funding for Title I tutoring services to New York City yeshiva students. In addition, it follows the establishment of a new program, whereby thousands of yeshiva children in New York City are now receiving free tutoring services through Title I from the federal government.
According to David G. Greenfield, Esq., the Director and Counsel of TEACH NYS, the laptop computers will be available for student use in yeshivas or at home, depending on the parents’ wishes. For yeshivas and parents that do not want internet use, internet capacity will be permanently disabled on the computers. Educational software programs will be installed on the computers in order to maximize the students’ learning. E-readers, which are essentially portable screens with data storage, will allow students to easily access numerous books with one simple, hand-held device, and help to promote students’ interest in reading. “Tag Readers” are interactive books for young readers that help them build reading skills. They come with a pen-like device that enables students to touch words in the story to hear how they are pronounced and spelled. The books have other educational activities that the students complete while reading the story.
“Providing laptops and other educational technologies to thousands of yeshiva students creates new and exciting educational opportunities for our children,” said Greenfield. “Yeshiva students will reap tremendous benefits from this access to tech-based learning. Boruch Hashem, our years of hard work on behalf of yeshivas are reaping big dividends for our community.”
Greenfield noted that this initiative was spearheaded by Caren Zayde Moncher, the Executive Director of the New York City’s Bureau of Non-Public Schools, and her devoted staff. Under Mrs. Moncher’s tenure, there has been a firm commitment to assist yeshivas in augmenting necessary services such as Title I. Through her consultation with non-public school representatives of all faiths, Mrs. Moncher has forged a great collaboration, jump starting many projects.
David Greenfield and TEACH NYS have been at the forefront of this collaboration, joined by Agudath Israel and Rabbi Chaim David Zwiebel, the UJO of Williamsburg and Rabbi Moshe David Niederman, and the Board of Jewish Education of Greater New York and Rabbi Dr. Martin Schloss. Through their collective work with Mrs. Moncher, there have been a number of incredible achievements on behalf of yeshivas and yeshiva students.
According to Greenfield, Title I services are geared towards regular students who are experiencing difficulties in reading and math. Through small group tutoring, Title I services allow students to get the extra attention they need to develop their learning skills in key subject areas. Laptops, e-readers, and “Tag Readers” will bring more diverse learning mediums to yeshiva students, providing them with cutting edge educational opportunities, and enabling them to maximize their potential.
Yeshivas that are receiving Title I Services through the Third Party Vendor system or directly through the NYC Department of Education and want more information about this exciting initiative are encouraged to contact Mr. Greenfield’s staff at TEACH NYS for more information. If you are a yeshiva administrator, please call the TEACH NYS Title I Navigator, Yosef Kanofsky, at (718) 859-4245 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.