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Early Childhood Technology Project Wins Top Education Honors in Computerworld Smithsonian Awards

June 13, 2000
Montgomery County Public Schools has been named the top winner in the Education and Academia category of the 2000 Computerworld Smithsonian Awards.

The awards, given to 11 programs in categories ranging from business and environment to government and medicine, recognize innovative applications of technology that benefit society. In addition, six individuals were honored with leadership awards.

The MCPS Early Childhood Technology Literacy Project was nominated for the honor by Steven Jobs, founder of Apple Computer, Inc., for early childhood use of computers to teach reading and writing, including reading from and writing to the Internet.

The project was initiated more than three years ago when a grant co-written by Dara McCormick Feldman, an early childhood instructional technology instructional specialist, received federal funding through the Technology Literacy Challenge Program.

Feldman and Bonny Chambers, early childhood instructional technology specialist, implemented the project, which provides opportunities for prekindergarten through second grade teachers, specialists and instructional assistants from 34 Title 1 public schools and seven private schools to develop and deliver exemplary reading and writing instruction that incorporates technology. The project's focus is on increasing reading and writing achievement and having every student read independently by third grade.

Feldman and Chambers accepted the award at a June 6 celebration at the National Building Museum attended by more than 800 industry leaders and professionals.

The MCPS project was among 50 finalists in the various categories that were selected from 444 laureates nominated for the award. This year, 92 nominations were submitted in the Education & Academia category.

The Computerworld Smithsonian Program was established in 1988, and the prestigous awards are presented annually at the National Building Museum.

Case studies of all 444 nominees in the 2000 Computerworld Smithsonian Collection were formally presented to the Smithsonian Institution on April 3.

All laureate case studies and leadership award recipients' oral histories become part of the Smithsonian Institution's Permanent Research Collection on Information Technology at the National Museum of American History. It is available to researchers at the museum's Archives Center and via the Internet at http://www.cwsmithsonian.org.

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