Press Release

February 10, 2011

– U.S. Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and
Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-MD) today announced the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) has awarded Washington County Public Schools $30,000 grant for Hancock High School’s Laptop Initiative.

As part of the initiative, 36 teachers and 167 students at Hancock High School will receive individual laptops to be used in the classroom and at home. The initiative aims to teach students advanced technology skills so that they will be better prepared for college and the workforce. It is expected that this grant will result in a 20 percent increase in the number of Hancock graduates attending college, a total of 91 students in the first three years alone.

 “This innovative grant will help give Washington County students the technological training they need to succeed in the future,” said
Senator Cardin. “Technology is the key to jobs in our economy and all Maryland students — regardless of income levels – need access to a computer. I applaud Hancock High School’s Laptop Initiative for recognizing the vital role that computers play in ensuring student success.”

“To help make sure all students are ready for the jobs in today’s innovation economy, we must have state-of-the-art education resources,”
Senator Mikulski said. “Technology is the tool and empowerment is the objective, and this money is a federal investment to do just that.”

This initiative, the first of its kind in Washington County, seeks to increase computer and Internet accessibility among low-income and rural students. Teachers are being trained to incorporate advanced technology into instruction, and classrooms are being equipped with projectors and Wi-Fi technology.

In addition to the ARC grant, local sources will provide $90,412, bringing the total project funding to $120, 412. The ARC is a federal-state partnership that works with the people of Appalachia to create opportunities for self-sustaining economic development and improved quality of life.