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‘Gifted and enriched’ students go high-tech

When surfing the "world-wide-web", don't be surprised if you stumble onto a web-page designed by elementary school students.

Claire Jones, Enrichment Teacher for the Butler County School System, has taken the meaning of "high-tech" to a new level. "We are exposing students to hands-on technology through an innovative approach," Jones said.

The only enrichment teacher in the county, Jones has been teaching for 13 years, and has spent the last three of them with the enrichment program, which she designed and implemented.

"Our program is designed to focus on talents and interests, and to increase intellectual learning," she said.

With both a Baccalaureate and Masters degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education, Jones has just finished her certification in educational leadership at Auburn University-Montgomery.

"The enrichment program is for students who are above average in intelligence," Jones said. "I focus with the students in all areas of their curriculum."

The students in the program are exposed to a more-than-average share of high-tools, as well.

"Most elementary school students don't get the opportunity to use digital cameras, web-cams, hypertext editors, and design web page layouts," she said. "But my students have already built a web page on-line, and with the help of Greenlynk Internet Services, they will soon be building an unofficial' community web page. The students eventually want to build a virtual tour of the school system on-line."

Jones teaches at all three of the County's public elementary schools,

but the R.L. Austin Elementary School in Georgiana is the first school to go on-line.

"When I approached the Austin School principal, Alton Abrams, he was very receptive to the program. He is truly interested in the children," Jones said.

The web page that is currently on-line can be found at: www.butlerco.k12.al.us./rlaustin , and the e-mail address is: rlaustin@butlerco.k12.al.us.