Two Mission parents took it upon themselves to bring an extra set of high-tech learning tools to their son’s school.
In the summer of 2012, when Pavi and Gurdeep Toor’s Grade 4 son Jaiden was struggling with reading, writing, and math, they hired a tutor to help. The tutor brought an iPad full of free educational applications – and the Toors watched their son’s learning blossom.
“Over a couple of hours a day over the summer, we started seeing huge improvement. And also, it was much easier for him to stay engaged,” said father Pavi Toor. “We thought it was pretty cool, and we downloaded some apps. And from there, we were just doing our own thing after he went back to school.”
When Jaiden returned to Cherry Hill Elementary that fall, the Toors approached the school to provide some iPads to students who are struggling. School administrators crunched the numbers and came back with a cost of $17,500, which wasn’t in the budget.
So the Toors decided to do it themselves.
They created a slideshow presentation about the educational power of iPads and campaigned the community.
“We would go to community leaders, business leaders, potential donors. They’d look at it, ask us more questions, and we’d have to go back to the drawing board,” said Pavi.
One year later, in August 2013, Prospera Credit Union committed half the funds.
The Toors raised the rest mainly through family and friends, including a “significant” amount of their own money. They used a portion of their RESPs to make it possible.
“We decided, instead of saving for some day when the children might go to university, why don’t we take some of that money and make a change today,” said Pavi.
A total of 28 iPad 2s were purchased. The school held an open house on Feb. 5 to show off the new devices, which are targeted at kindergarten to Grade 4 students who struggle with reading, writing, and math.
“There are some problems that the community can solve,” said Pavi.
(Photo below: The Toor family shows off the new iPad 2s. Gurdeep and Pavi Toor are pictured with their two sons.)