One Class at a Time: Money to help learning in simple way

By Audrey Wise

February 5, 2014 Updated Feb 5, 2014 at 8:06 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill -- Mary Venzon teaches 2nd grade at Woodrow Wilson, but she is using the grant money to help more than just her classroom.

Principal Scott Montgomery said, "The teachers in this school are really broad-minded and they really take care of each other and they're concerned about our students and the school. I'm not one bit surprised that Mrs. Venzon would feel that way about wanting to share this with everybody."

All students use the computer lab at least three times a week to do individual learning programs. But their time is wasted looking for working headphones.

"There's so many educational programs and they talk to the kids and so they need the headphones so they can listen and interact," said Mrs. Venzon.

She plans to use the grant money to replace some of the old and broken headphones.

"We're going to do some research so we can get the most durable headphones," she said.

Budget cuts across the district mean headphones aren't a top priority. But something simple can help in big ways. More than half the kids at the school live in poverty. Many don't have a home computer.

Mrs. Venzon said, "I can't even imagine what the future is going to be like and so we need to give them the skills that no matter what kind of technology they have, they have to be able to use it, adapt to it, and use it at home, at school and throughout their lives."