In a heartwarming display of community support, the San Francisco Education Fund is thrilled to announce a generous donation of $50,000 from the Gabe Karol Trust. This invaluable contribution was specifically earmarked to enhance technology resources in special education classrooms in San Francisco, serving as a testament to Mr. Karol’s legacy and the profound impact it will make on hundreds of San Francisco students.
On Monday, Sept. 25, Ed Fund staff delivered a total of 40 iPads and accessories, 30 Chromebooks, 52 headphones and 100 software licenses for students receiving special education services across five middle schools: Denman, Everett, Visitacion Valley, Willie Brown, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Middle School. The technology will be kept in classrooms for years to come at each of the schools, allowing hundreds of current and future students to access cutting edge curriculum and individualized support.
Laura Beam McKinney, special education teacher at Everett Middle School, received 20 Chromebook donations that will be utilized for structured literacy initiatives. Her students will have access to IXL – comprehensive, personalized learning software – on each Chromebook and she will be able to receive live reports in terms of how students are reaching their unique Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals. She explained this will be incredibly useful and supportive for students as they navigate their individual goals. Additionally, the devices are an essential tool for meeting learning accommodations for students who benefit from text-to-speech tools in the classroom. For these students, having 1:1 access to a device is crucial for accessing materials and actively participating in the classroom.
Denman Middle School special education teacher Stacey Woodford has been using the same iPads with her students for 10+ years. In addition to being key learning tools in the classroom, time on the devices is also treated as an opportunity for students to practice skills independently, making decisions around selecting which learning games, videos, or music to use on the devices. Although Stacey Woodford and her students have taken care of their decade-old iPads up until this point, many of them are no longer usable, and most are dying. When she and her students found out they would be receiving brand new iPads, they were over-the-moon excited and were counting down the days until the delivery. “We really appreciate you all,” she said. “This is beautiful.”
This donation not only symbolizes the unwavering commitment of our community to inclusive and accessible education but also showcases the incredible potential for positive change when individuals, like Mr. Karol and his family, believe in the power of education to transform lives. Together, we are working towards a brighter future for all students, bridging gaps and fostering success in our special education classrooms.
This infusion of resources to SFUSD schools was possible thanks to a generous legacy donation. Legacy gifts represent donations to nonprofit organizations that are specified in an individual’s last will and testament. If you would like to explore the possibility of leaving a legacy gift to benefit San Francisco students, teachers, and schools, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.