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Robinson Park School's 'Techno Trot' is May 20

Date: 5/16/2012

May 16, 2012

By Debbie Gardner

AGAWAM — The Robinson Park Elementary School Parent Planning Committee is inviting all runners and walkers to lace up their trainers and come out for the school's first-ever Techno Trot on May 20.

The event — which includes both a 5k run and a 2-mile family fun walk — is a fund-raiser for the school, with the goal of raising $10,000 to installEpsom BrightLink learning systems throughout the school.

"Currently we do have four [in the school]" Marie Ball, a member of the Parent Planning Committee, said, explaining that the interactive system includes a laptop computer, a BrightLink projector and a whiteboard. "The purpose [of the fund-raiser] is to put one in every classroom. Each one is approximately $2,500 including installation."

The BrightLink system, Ball explained, allows students to access the Internet or work with software chosen by a teacher. Materials on the laptop are displayed on the whiteboard by the projector, and students can use a pointer to manipulate them interactively. She said the math programs are particularly popular with both students and teachers, and one teacher is piloting a math program this year that would greatly benefit from the technology.

Check-in for the event is noon on the school's grounds at 65 Begley St., with the run/walk starting at 1 p.m. The cost to participate is $25 per runner and $15 per walker. Following the run/walk the committee will host a raffle including a pair of tickets to a Red Sox-Yankees game, a Madeira Beach, Fla., condo escape, a full-size Charbroil gas grill with tank, an autographed Paul Pierce basketball from the Celtics, and more.

Ball said 150 people — including many of the school's students — have registered to participate in the event so far, but the committee is "hoping for at least 200." She said race-day sign-ups would be welcome.

"We're anticipating a lot of people to register on the day of the race," she said.

Ball said event participants should know that by participating, they are helping the school to garner support from a presenting sponsor. Michael Balise of Balise Motors in West Springfield has promised to match a portion of the proceeds from the fund-raiser to help the group achieve their goal, and will also donate one BrightLink system.

"One of our team members reached out to him," Ball explained. "He had already made a donation to a school in West Springfield and he was very willing to help us."

She said two local Agawam businesses, Parrotta's Auto Repair and Sales and V & F Auto of have each also donated money for a BrightLink system.

he added that the Parent Planning Committee is hoping to make the Techno Trot an annual event in order to continue to upgrade the technology at the school.

For more information on the Robinson Park School Techno Trot,

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