- About the Fund -

The Berkshire Hills Technology Fund, operating under the umbrella of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, was established in 2000 by parents, representatives of the Berkshires Hills Regional School District, and other community members. The mission of the Fund is to support the creative use of technology for educational excellence in the schools that serve the towns of Great Barrington, Stockbridge, and West Stockbridge in western Massachusetts. Currently, over 1,500 students are enrolled in these schools.

The first project of the Fund was to ensure that all students, teachers, and administrators in the School District (K-12) have Internet-enabled computers at home. The Fund has made an ongoing commitment to assist District families in obtaining affordable bank financing for a computer purchase or - depending on need - even borrow a computer at no charge for as long as the student is enrolled in the District.

The goal of this project has been to close the "digital divide" - the gap between technological "haves" and "have-nots" - in our school community. Our students will have the skills not only to cope with the New Economy, but also to thrive in it.

With the computer infrastructure in place, the Fund launched an annual competitive grants program to make creative or more effective use of this resource, including advanced teacher training, course enhancements, teacher/student initiatives, and evaluation and acquisition of new educational technology (both hardware and software) as it becomes available. The first five rounds of grants (2000 - 2005) supported 50 projects by 84 teachers:
2000 - 2001 2001 - 2002 2002 - 2003 2003 - 2004 2004 - 2005

For the 2005-06 school year, the Fund paid for full subscriptions for all three District schools to a vast educational video library at www.unitedstreaming.com

For the 2006-07 school year, the Fund supported the introduction of Virtual High School (www.govhs.org) at Monument Mountain, and paid for a school-wide license for the Renzulli Learning System (www.renzullilearning.com) at Muddy Brook.

For the 2008-09 school year, the Fund supported 7 projects by 11 teachers: 2008-2009

For the 2010-11 school year, the Fund sponsored a "blended learning" approach to 10th grade American History as an alternative to the traditional 5-days-a-week classroom model.

For the 2011-12 school year, the Fund supported blended learning projects at MMRHS and Muddy Brook using iPad2's, Moodle, and Google Apps, and a similar differentiated learning project at Monument Valley using Android tablets instead of iPads: Project Summaries

For the 2012-2013 school year, the Fund purchased additional iPads for Monument Valley.

The Berkshire Hills Technology Fund is guided by a local committee of parents, businessmen, school administrators, teachers, and not-for-profit community leaders charged with three primary responsibilities:

to obtain contributionsto establish criteria for the awarding of grants • to fund appropriate programs and projects.

 

 

The Fund is seeking contributions from interested individuals, corporations, and philanthropies.

Inquiries may be directed to:

Chip Elitzer
39 Alford Road
Great Barrington, MA 01230

(413) 528-4693; fax: (413) 528-1289

Contributions may be sent directly to:

The Berkshire Hills Technology Fund
c/o Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, Inc.
800 North Main Street
Sheffield, MA 01257

(413) 229-0370
fax: (413) 229-0329
www.berkshiretaconic.org
(Contact the Foundation for instructions on donating appreciated stock and other tax-efficient forms of giving.)

The Berkshire Hills Technology Fund Committee:

Chip Elitzer, Chairman
Peter Dillon Marianne Young
Mary Berle Joshua Briggs Ben Doren David Long
Richard Stanley
Thomas Roy