Eastham, MA - We've all heard the groans, as parents hear learn their high school student needs to purchase a scientific graphic calculator for math class. The calculators, which range in price locally from $119 to $150, can be an impossible purchase for a family with a limited income. Students from a financially-challenged home often go without when it comes to an expensive tool like this.
Last week, Nauset Regional High School principal, Dr. Christopher Ellsasser, visited with the Masonic Angel Foundation's volunteers and helped them with assembling school supply packages for kids across Cape Cod. While engaged with the Masonic Angels, Dr. Ellsasser got into a discussion about the challenge of finding calculators for the families that cannot afford to purchase them. After a great chat in the chaos of school supply assembly, Principal Ellsasser circled back with Masonic Angel Foundation president Robert Fellows earlier this week to see if the non-profit might partner with the schools to level the playing field for kids from a financially challenged household.
After a few minutes of conversation, the Masons reached out to their primary retail partner - Nick Tondra, manager of the Staples store in Orleans, to see if Staples could assist. "Long story short, we were able to purchase a total of seventy calculators from Staples at a significantly discounted price. The calculators were delivered to Nauset High School this morning," reports Mr. Fellows.
Dr. Ellsasser was pleased to receive the donation. "Calculators have become an essential part of any student's math education. This is a a good sign that our math education is advancing, but it creates a problem by impacting access for some students. We believe each child deserves the same access to the highest quality of education possible. They each have something unique to contribute and we want them to know we believe in them and their efforts. Education should be the experience that levels the field and opens doors for each child. Having the 70 new calculators for our math program will enable our teachers to introduce students to the calculators early in their math education without having to incur the cost. Now all of our youngest students will be able to develop confidence with the technology to push themselves mathematically.
We are so thankful for the generous support to help us in our efforts to ensure that all of our students have access to the high quality of education they each deserve."