SANTA ANA : 3 Schools Get Grants to Buy Computers


Three local schools have won a total of $74,000 in state grants to pay for computers and video hardware to help limited English-speaking students improve their language skills.

The schools receiving money from the state include Willard Intermediate School and Franklin and James A. Garfield elementary schools, said Diane Thomas, spokeswoman for the Santa Ana Unified School District.

The grants are especially useful in a district whose limited English-speaking population is about 66% of its 48,000 students, Thomas said.


Willard’s $38,000 grant will be used to create “Project Travel,” in which students play time travelers and research various periods of history. The program will provide students with a sophisticated multimedia computer network, complete with photo scanners and CD-ROM equipment. Students will practice English skills, for example, by creating scripts describing their research and incorporating them into multimedia presentations, Thomas said.

The equipment will also be used by Willard parents who are enrolled in English as a second language classes at Rancho Santiago College, she said.

Garfield Elementary’s $20,000 grant will pay for 11 new computers as well as writing and word-processing software. All students at the school will spend at least 45 minutes a week training on the computers, which they will use to write compositions and perform other schoolwork, Thomas said.

Franklin Elementary’s $16,000 grant will be used to pay for a video project designed to improve students’ writing and speaking skills. Students will produce videos about school activities through the project, Thomas said.