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Hopkins Education Foundation Supporters Have Royally Good Time

This organization's Royal Bash raises money for school programs and technology, including iPads.

School supporters had a regal evening Saturday at Hopkins Education Foundation’s annual Royal Bash.

About 500 people attended the sold-out, $75-a-ticket event—which included silent and live auctions, a raffle, dinner and dancing.

The foundation has given about $1.7 million to Hopkins schools since 1995 through events like the Royal Bash. The money pays for programs and technology that the school district wouldn’t otherwise be able to fund. It also accelerates pilot programs and provides new technology for the classrooms—including interactive white boards, college planning software and data collection devices.

Technology is a special focus for the organization in 2011. The foundation aims to provide 160 iPads for the district—an ambitious goal that will cost about $40,000. Volunteers walked around the bash demonstrating the iPads for attendees.

Sid Voss—the district’s director of educational technology, media services and information systems—said iPads can maximize teachers’ time. Students who miss class or need help understanding a problem can sit down with the iPad for a demonstration and practice. At about half the price of a conventional computer, they are also a cost-effective substitute for textbooks and “reams and reams of worksheets”

“It’s not about that technology,” Voss said. “It’s about student learning and engaging our learners.”

The iPads will quickly become a reality. Donors committed $10,600 before the day of the bash, and the district will begin buying the devices next week.

Fundraising related to the bash continues into this week. Those still who want to donate can visit the organization’s donation site. A final total should be available at the end of the week.

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