Teachers are integrating electronic learning into their curriculums at an ever increasing rate, and Pittsburg USD 250 elementary schools and St. Mary’s Elementary School received a generous gift from BMO Harris Bank that will help them continue that trend.

Teachers are integrating electronic learning into their curriculums at an ever increasing rate, and Pittsburg USD 250 elementary schools and St. Mary’s Elementary School received a generous gift from BMO Harris Bank that will help them continue that trend.

During a ceremony in the Lakeside Elementary School library Thursday morning, bank representatives presented a check for $15,000 to help USD 250 pay for iPad Minis and St. Mary’s Elementary upgrade its curriculum. Principals and students from each of the schools attended the ceremony.

Brad Smith, regional manager of BMO Harris, which recently bought M&I Bank in downtown Pittsburg, said the donation is part of the bank’s tradition of supporting local communities.

“We really recognize how important education is,” Harris said. “We also understand how important it is to be a community partner. We’ve been involved, and intend to continue to be involved. It’s a real pleasure to see some of the bank’s resources go to the schools.”

Pittsburg USD 250 gets $12,000 to purchase iPad Minis that will supplement the approximately 150 iPads the district currently has, said Noah Grotheer, the district’s technology co-ordinator.

Sherry Turnbull, Lakeside Elementary’s library media specialist, said the iPads are an increasingly important tool for teachers to use in their classrooms.
“It’s a rich technology that is very good for the kids,” Turnbull said. “It’s good with the new common core standards and the kids can use them across the curriculum. It really is a rich, learning environment.”

Pittsburg branch manager Kim Nolan said BMO Harris gave the bank the freedom to continue to distribute money to the community however it chooses.

“We have full authority to work with the community, and they gave us the opportunity to determine the need,” Nolan said.

St. Mary’s Elementary School principal Nancy Hicks said the $3,000 the school gets will be used to upgrade text books and possibly technology.

“It’s a real sign of tremendous community involvement,” Hicks said. “They see a need in the schools and are willing to help us financially. They’ve really kept education in their sights. It’s really important and wonderful for all the children of Pittsburg.”