Prin­ci­pal takes the plunge to im­prove tech­nol­ogy

The Advance of Bucks County - - YARDLEY-MORRISVILLE AREA - By Pe­tra Ch­es­ner Sch­lat­ter

PENNSBURv – What can $26,500 buy these days? For the students at Afton El­e­men­tary School, it’s enough to pur­chase the “Prin­ci­pal Polar Plunge.”

The school held a fundraiser to im­prove its tech­nol­ogy. As with many of these mon­eyrais­ing cam­paigns, there were prizes of­fered. The size of the prizes de­pended upon how much money was raised. De­spite other en­tice­ments such as an ex­tra re­cess and chauf­feured limo ride to a res­tau­rant for lunch with the prin­ci­pal and a cou­ple teach­ers, the prize on which the kids kept their eyes was dunk­ing Prin­ci­pal Joseph Mas­gai in a dunk tank,

“It was cold -- very, very cold -- on a Novem­ber day,” Mas­gai said af­ter get­ting dunked so many times he “lost count.” Wear­ing a scuba div­ing suit, Mas­gai didn’t get to­tally drenched, but his hair was drip­ping wet. No mat­ter. Mas­gai was glad to con­trib­ute to the cause. “It was worth it to see the students’ ex­cite­ment and to hear their cheers of joy,” the prin­ci­pal said. “I was happy to do it for them.” The Afton kids – more than 500 of them -were en­er­gized as they laughed and cheered with ev­ery dunk Nov. 9. They earned the en­ter­tain­ment af­ter rais­ing $26,500. Char­coal Steaks N’ Things do­nated the lunch and Frank Vesci do­nated the limo ser­vice.

Funds will be used to buy eight Smart Boards for class­room in­struc­tion. The Smart Board is a large in­ter­ac­tive white­board dis­play con­nected to a com­puter and pro­jec­tor. A pro­jec­tor projects the com­puter’s desk­top onto the board’s sur­face where users con­trol WKe FRPSuWeU uVinJ D Sen, finJeU, VWyOuV, RU other de­vice. The board is typ­i­cally mounted WR D wDOO RU flRRU VWDnd. The dunk­ing was the cul­mi­nat­ing ac­tiv­ity to re­ward the students for writ­ing let­ters to rel­a­tives and friends in an ef­fort to get spon­sors in an event called Race for Ed­u­ca­tion. TKiV wDV WKe fiUVW WiPe WKe VFKRRO KeOd WKe event. Students lit­er­ally ran around the course for 45 min­utes in the back­yard of the school. “They had the thrill of watch­ing their prin­ci­pal go in that dunk tank,” Mas­gai said of the PTO-spon­sored event “The students are ab­so­lutely in­cred­i­ble and phe­nom­e­nal. It’s my plea­sure to be here as their prin­ci­pal.” Af­ter all of the kids went inside the school, Kelly Forde, vice pres­i­dent of fundrais­ing, and vvonne Foote, PTO co-pres­i­dent, en­joyed the calm­ness as they stood next to the still dunk tank. Be­side the pure fun of the event, Forde VDid, WKeUe wDV DnRWKeU Eene­fiW WR WKiV WySe of fundraiser. “This is such a fun event,” Forde said. “We found out that it was a pretty good fundrais­ing op­por­tu­nity that could raise more than sell­ing things.” All of the funds go to the school in­stead of giv­ing a per­cent­age to a sup­plier of, for ex­am­ple, hol­i­day wrapping pa­per or cook­ies. Foote said the Smart Boards that will be pur­chased are like a gi­ant iPad. “They can take things off the In­ter­net,” she said. “It makes learn­ing more in­ter­ac­tive. The par­tic­i­pa­tion rate in­creases.”

Pho­to­graphs by Pe­tra Ch­es­ner Sch­lat­ter

Afton El­e­men­tary School Prin­ci­pal Joseph Mas­gai waits for an­other dunk­ing at the cul­mi­na­tion of the school’s fundrais­ing ac­tiv­ity.

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