The Ridgewood Foundation was founded in 1989 by community leaders who wanted to help raise funds to promote educational opportunities for students in New Jersey. In particular, the Foundation focuses on STEM education and helping get students the technology they need to be successful in today’s world.
Foundation leadership, including J.C. Flowers Managing Director John Oros, Ridgewood mayor Paul Aronsohn, and current Foundation president Jennie Smith Wilson, aims to help students achieve academic success by providing access to technology with programs like the 1:1 Computer Device Initiative, whose goal is to put a Chromebook in the hands of every student in grades 6-12.
The 1:1 program is part of the Campaign for 21st Century Learning. By working collaboratively with the Ridgewood Public School District Administration, the Board of Education, and the Home & School Associations, the Ridgewood Foundation is able to provide this and other grants to benefit the entire school district.
In a letter to Ridgewood parents, Superintendent Daniel Fishbein wrote that the 1:1 initiative would improve technology offerings at area schools. Over time, the 1:1 program will use Google Apps for Education (GAFE) to increase students’ ability to learn and interact with their teachers through documents, email, calendars, sites, and groups. “GAFE supports the high levels of communication and collaboration that are required in today’s classroom to prepare students with important skills needed for success,” wrote Fishbein. Students can more easily—and more quickly—receive feedback from teachers and work groups. All communications with the Chromebooks are overseen by Ridgewood Public Schools. With this suite of programs, students are able to access and share their work throughout their time in the Ridgewood schools.
The Foundation embraces the continual changes in the technology sphere and provides grants and programs like 1:1 to help acclimate students, teachers, and the broader educational community to the ways in which technology can improve learning opportunities. They also support professional development for instructors to improve their ability to help students with new technology as it arises.
For more information about the Ridgewood Foundation, visit www.ridgewoodedfoundation.org.