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Blythedale Earns Grant For Cutting Edge Technology

MOUNT PLEASANT, N.Y. – The Mount Pleasant Blythedale School in Valhalla received a $10,000 grant, which they will use for purchasing assistive technology.

“It’s  a wonderful opportunity for us because due to cuts in funding, we haven’t been able to support programs, specifically with technology, as we have in the past and this really will help enhance instruction for some of our most neediest children,” Mount Pleasant Blythedale School principal Emily Hersh said.

Mount Pleasant Blythedale was one of five schools chosen by Optimum Lightpath, an Ethernet-based communication solutions business, to receive the technology grant.  Hersh said that the school will use the money to purchase Apple iPads.

Students within the Blythedale school are current patients at the Blythedale Children’s Hospital and receive education at Mount Pleasant Blythedale while receiving treatment.  When the student is healthy enough, they are able to return to their normal school district.  Hersh said the iPads will assist students in being able to Skype and video chat with teachers and other classmates from their school.

The iPads will be specifically used by students with traumatic brain injuries that are taught by faculty member Jim Desimone, who wrote the grant.

“We’re going to use the iPads to Skype and video chat with their home districts so that it could make the transition back to the school easier,” Desimone said.  “The tablets also feature augmentative speaking devices for students that have trouble speaking because of the traumatic brain injuries,”

Mount Pleasant Blythedale School brings in students from all over Westchester and Rockland County and also parts of New York City.  It is the only school in the State of New York that is designed to educate a hospital population.

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