Grant helps Wellington High buy new iPads for special needs program


When it comes to Wellington High School’s special needs program, individualized lessons for students who have difficulty speaking or with fine motor skills are key.

That’s why the program’s teachers and staff say a recent $5,000 grant from the Wellington-based Jacobs Family Foundation to buy iPads for 10 new students is so important.

WELLINGTON READERS: Sign up for The Post’s weekly newsletter for Wellington news

Teachers, staff, Palm Beach County School District representatives and members of Wellington’s village council were on hand Wednesday morning to celebrate the grant and watch the students complete activities and take a quiz on their new devices.

The iPads allow students in the same classroom to work on individualized lessons at their own pace, said teacher Barbara Incandela, a 25-year veteran at the school.

When students are finished using their iPads in class, they stow them in iPad carts, where the devices await the next group of eager learners.

RELATED: $34,500 grant brought laptops to Wellington High Fine Arts students

The Jacobs Family Foundation has donated more than $500,000 to Wellington schools and nonprofits over the past few years. The family, led by patriarch Jeremy Jacobs, is a staple in the international equestrian community. Jacobs’ six children have placed a high priority on community engagement, especially school programs, Katie Jacobs Robinson said Wednesday.

“Obviously we’re a fan of children,” Robinson said as she watched Incandela help junior Ethan Pilat navigate a biology assignment on an iPad. “I feel like we’re really making a difference here.”

Classroom paraprofessional Arlene Einhorn is behind the growing iPad collection. In 2015, she applied for the first grant from the foundation and used it to buy 35 iPads. She applied for the second grant after spotting an ad in the pages of the local weekly newspaper.

“The kids can’t speak, but give them a computer and the world opens up for them,” Einhorn said.

The iPads were put to work on the spot.

Wellington Vice Mayor John McGovern helped Mark, a student in Incandela’s class, use his iPad to take photos of the delegation that poured into a classroom Wednesday. The event was “vital,” McGovern said, to demonstrate philanthropy at work in Wellington.

“What’s really special about this donation in particular is to see the children with special needs, to see their faces light up and to see them be inspired,” he said.

Down the hall, students prepared to use their iPads to take a quiz. “All children today love technology,” McGovern said. “It’s something that they understand and relate to in a way we as adults do not and will not.”

“For these kids, having this technology may be even more important because it may be the only way they connect with the world,” said Councilwoman Tanya Siskind, former member of the village’s Education Committee.

Christian, one of Incandela’s students, overheard the many mentions of iPads and turned to one of his peers. “This is the new century,” he said, shrugging. “In the ’90s we used TVs, in the 2000s we used computers. And now we use iPads.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Michelle Obama praises 'Black Panther' on Twitter: 'I loved this movie'
Michelle Obama praises 'Black Panther' on Twitter: 'I loved this movie'

Former first lady Michelle Obama tweeted a shoutout Monday to the new Marvel superhero film, “Black Panther.” “Congrats to the entire #blackpanther team!” she tweeted. “Because of you, young people will finally see superheroes that look like them on the big screen. I loved this movie and I know it will inspire...
Catalytic converter stolen from car’s engine

BOCA RATON POLICE VEHICLE BURGLARY Windows were smashed on vehicles parked in the 5100 block of Town Center Circle. One victim reported a wallet stolen. Someone entered an unlocked vehicle in the 5900 block of Town Bay Drive and removed a wallet left in plain view on the front passenger seat. A burglar stole a purse left under the front passenger seat...
Woman with suspended license is cited, drives away, gets arrested

PALM BEACH GARDENS POLICE THEFT A man and a woman entered a store in the 3100 block of Northlake Boulevard. Once inside the man selected a shopping basket and began loading it with various items including electronic grooming devices and body wash. He then walked out of the store with the woman without paying. The store’s manager was able to give...
Library life
Library life

The authors are coming! The authors are coming! St. Lucie County’s annual Local Author Book Fair is set for 10 a.m.-1 p.m. March 17 at two branch libraries. Meet the authors, learn about their writing and maybe purchase a signed copy or two. Appearing at the Susan Broom Kilmer Branch Library, 101 Melody Lane, Fort Pierce will be: Britt C. Anderson...
Concealed gun spotted as man, neighbor scuffle over parking spot

WEST PALM BEACH FRAUD A woman in the 400 block of South Mangonia Circle told police that someone stole and cashed her retirement check. She provided a copy of the check, which had a forged signature. AFFRAY Police were called to the area of Fourth Street and Sapodilla Avenue, where a fight had broken out. When officers arrived, people scattered. One...
More Stories