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St. Mary’s students get new technology

Kindles purchased in memory of Eleanor Smith

St. Mary’s School in Ticonderoga has new Kindles thanks to an  anonymous donation in the memory of Eleanor Smith of Putnam. From left are student Natalie O’Neil, teacher Pam Arzberger, Principal Sister Sharon Dalton, Bill Smith and teacher Ellie Berube, who is the daughter of Mr, and Mrs. Smith.

St. Mary’s School in Ticonderoga has new Kindles thanks to an anonymous donation in the memory of Eleanor Smith of Putnam. From left are student Natalie O’Neil, teacher Pam Arzberger, Principal Sister Sharon Dalton, Bill Smith and teacher Ellie Berube, who is the daughter of Mr, and Mrs. Smith.

— When St. Mary’s School students start a lesson, no one opens a book. That’s because the Ticonderoga school is the first in the area to have Kindles for its students.

“It’s fun,” Connor LaRock, a fifth grade student, said of the new technology. “It’s a lot better than a book.”

The Kindles were purchased for students in grades 5 through 8 recently using an anonymous donation in the memory of Eleanor Smith of Putnam. Smith, a long-time St. Mary’s benefactor, died this fall.

A Kindle an e-book reader, which allows wireless access to books, newspapers, magazines, blogs and other digital media. The St, Mary’s students have lessons on the tablet, which also contains reference materials like dictionaries and maps.

“We’ve moved from traditional educational materials and are now applying new technology,” Ethan Carter, a fifth grader, said. “It’s rally fun.”

Pam Arzberger, the St. Mary’s fifth grade teacher, said students look forward to using the technology.

“Probably the most popular question I get in study hall is ‘I can use my Kindle?’,” she said. “When we read now, the kids are much more engaged. They look forward to using their Kindles.”

“All the sudden they (students) love reading again,” Arzberger said. “The Kindles have been a wonderful, wonderful addition to our school. The students just can’t get enough.”

Bill Smith, husband of the late Eleanor Smith, recently visited St. Mary’s to meet students and see the Kindles in use.

“I just got a computer, so I don’t understand any of this,” he said. “But they (Kindles) are getting a lot of use. I’m very pleased.”

Ellie Berube, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, is a physical education teacher at St. Mary’s School. She’s also pleased her mother’s legacy has brought the new technology to the students.

“It’s wonderful,” she said. “I’m glad students have this opportunity.”

Arzberger said students and staff at St. Mary’s appreciate the Kindles and think of Eleanor Smith when they’re in use.

“She was a wonderful woman who loved this school,” Arzberger said. “It’s so nice we have these to honor her.”

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