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Local school receives Google Chromebooks from Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians

Posted at 11:02 PM, Apr 29, 2019

Students at Jonata Middle School now have new devices to help them with their schoolwork.

The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians Foundation donated 48 new Google Chromebooks, valued at more than $13,000, to the school in Buellton.

“This donation means our students get to work on the newest and best equipment, so they’re going to be on the cutting edge of what’s out there,” Principal Hans Rheinschild said. “It definitely revitalizes us.”

A grant request was submitted by the school through the tribe’s Technology in Schools Program for the 2018-2019 school year. The program allows school administrators and faculty to apply for technology grant dollars to fund specific projects.

Courtesy: Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians

“The ultimate goal of our school is to get us to a 1-to-1 ratio of students to devices,” Rheinschild said. “We’re currently at 2-to-1, so getting this donation brings us a lot closer to 1-to-1.”

The program was inspired in 2015 after the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians donated the proceeds from its annual charity golf tournament to four local schools in the form of technology grants.

“Sometimes, students have to share laptops in the classroom, but the bigger issue is the kids that don’t have technology at home, because so much of the new curriculum is tech-driven,” seventh-and-eighth grade science teacher and lead tech at Jonata Middle School Marie Chavis said. “Being able to reach our 1-to-1 goal will ensure they have the access they need.”

Other Technology in Schools Program grant recipients for the 2018-2019 school year are Clarence Ruth and Buena Vista elementary schools in Lompoc and the Carpinteria Unified School District. The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians Foundation will announce the grant awards for the schools in the next weeks.

More than $25 million has been donated by The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians to hundreds of groups, organizations and schools across the country.