Slate Hill Elementary School Wins $10,000 NBC4 Make A Difference - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Slate Hill Elementary School Wins $10,000 NBC4 Make A Difference School Grant

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WORTHINGTON, Ohio - NBC4 is committed to making a difference in school classrooms in Central Ohio. That's why NBC4 is giving away $30,000 to schools in need with the NBC4 Make A Difference School Grant.

The grants are divided into three size divisions, and one of the finalists in the medium school division, as voted on and chosen by a panel of judges, is Slate Hill Elementary School.

In an age of tablets, texts, and handheld technology, some of those over the age of 65 struggle to incorporate the latest gadgets into their life.

The elementary school wants to change the lives of seniors in their community – one relationship at a time.

Administrators and teachers at Slate Hill said they "teach relationships," and need 20 iPads to connect two generations that have the tendency to communicate very differently.

"I believe character education in this school is everything. It's in the choices we make. It's in the way we treat our peers. It's the way we respect others," said Laura Packert, school counselor.

A sign hangs in the principal's office reading, "Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good."

Part of that mission includes having grandparents take part in lessons and learning.

Ultimately, the volunteers become like family for students, according to Packert.

"For some of them, they don't have grandparents. This is their grandparent and they'll remember them for the rest of their lives," Packert said.

Principal Ken Pease shared a story that involved an older volunteer who said the students made him get out of the house when things in his life were really tough.

"It was really heartfelt from him to say, 'You know, I had a group of kids that picked me up,'" Pease said.

With the worldly and soulful awareness, students and staffers started to notice that one of the biggest gaps between generations was in the way they communicate.

To solve the problem, the school officials want to buy iPads and teach seniors how to use them.

For older individuals who may be nervous to try the new technology, school volunteer Kris Courtney thinks that won't be an issue.

For her, those holding out on technology just need to keep reminding themselves that the students are just like their own grandchildren.

"I think if their grandkids came home and said, 'That's cool because you're always interested,' and you sat down with what they got at school, and oh, he can use that and he's 7. Well, I can do that!" said Courtney, a grandparent volunteer.

Fourth-grade student Matteo Zevallos is ready to be that student.

"We can get social with people that are older. We can go to nursing homes and bring some joy to them," Zevallos said.

We will announce the winners in the medium size division next Wednesday on NBC4 at 6 a.m.

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