FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 8, 2011
SCHUMER ANNOUNCES WAYNE-FINGER LAKES BOCES TO RECEIVE OVER $310,000 FEDERAL GRANT FOR DISTANCE LEARNING AND TELEHEALTH SERVICES –INVESTMENT WILL LEAD TO STATE OF THE ART, HIGH-TECH EDUCATION SERVICES
Funding Will Use Innovative, Virtual Technology to Provide Enriched Course Options Through BOCES Programs
Schumer: This Investment Will Keep Rural Communities on the Frontlines of Quality Education
Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that the Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES has received a Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant for $311,337 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Rural Development. The grant will be used to improve distance learning and professional development options and for local students and educators at 14 schools in Wayne County.
"Efficiently supporting our rural communities with access to quality education services is pivotal for our community and our economy,” said Schumer. “Funding BOCES will help enhance quality of life in Wayne County and lead the way to economic development.”
Rural Development funds will be used for distance learning equipment for 14 rural public schools in Wayne County, and equipment for the hub site at the Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES office to manage and participate in the video conferencing system. The schools will share classes among themselves, and in particular the high schools will function as course providers. Equipment includes both wall-mounted display units for distance learning classrooms and video systems mounted on mobile carts used for multiple locations within a school or facility. Client software will allow students access on their PCs or laptops so that materials presented will not be exclusively limited to videoconferencing locations. The BOCES office will originate classes for the public schools and also offer classes for teachers and school staff that could apply toward general equivalency diplomas and other professional certifications. The BOCES will make the system available for police, fire fighters, and emergency medical staff in their training initiatives.
The grant is part of the USDA Rural Development annual budget. USDA Rural Development’s mission is to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for rural residents. Rural Development fosters growth in homeownership, finances business development, and supports the creation of necessary community and technology infrastructure.