Eagle Scout project ‘SMART’ens up classrooms

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Gena McGowan, right, principal of St. Matthew Catholic School, thanks Alex Bussoletti, a student at Notre Dame Preparatory and parishioner at St. Patrick in Scottsdale, for coordinating an Eagle Scout Project that beneiftted half of St. Matthew classrooms. (photo from St. Matthew's Facebook page)

Gena McGowan, right, principal of St. Matthew Catholic School, thanks Alex Bussoletti, a student at Notre Dame Preparatory and parishioner at St. Patrick in Scottsdale, for coordinating an Eagle Scout Project that benefited half of St. Matthew classrooms. (photo from St. Matthew’s Facebook page)

Alex Bussoletti’s Eagle Scout project brought a parish and two Catholic schools together over a mini Fall Break to help a third better integrate technology with learning. The end result outfitted half of St. Matthew classrooms with SMART boards.

It was a much needed upgrade with other diocesan schools getting their first SMART interactive whiteboards at least seven years ago. The boards allow teachers and students to write with their finger or colored “stylus” while integrating the features of a computer.

Bussoletii, a junior at Notre Dame Preparatory in Scottsdale, coordinated the effort. He learned of the need at St. Matthew through updates at his home parish of St. Patrick in Scottsdale. Parishioners have been tutoring St. Matthew students weekly for seven years.

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Bussoletii reached out to Brophy College Preparatory and Annunciation Catholic School in Cave Creek to acquire the boards. He fund raised to obtain the proper cables and is working on obtaining the software. St. Patrick parishioners awoke early Oct. 12 to help with the installation. The SMART boards are now in the sixth through eighth-grade classrooms and in two other rooms that four grade levels rotate usage of as part of the school’s dual language learning model.

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