Ellicott City’s Our Lady of Perpetual Help school celebrated the opening of their new Interactive Learning Center, called the iLC, with a Dedication Ceremony September 30, presided over by His Excellency, Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski. This 21st Century learning environment provides students with the latest in instructional technology and prepares them to adapt to forthcoming advances in an increasingly digital world. The value of this new capability was on display, as the entire ceremony was video-streamed live to students in their classrooms and available to watch live on the Internet.
Pastor, Fr. Arnold opened with a prayer and thanked everyone who made this day possible. Bishop Rozanski, performed the official blessing, wherein he stated, “Today we ask God’s blessing on this center of seeking, learning, and teaching what is true.” Just before sprinkling the guests with Holy Water, His Excellency remarked in a lighthearted manner, “I guess we will now find out how Holy Water mixes with technology.”
School Principal, Mr. Pellechia calls the new center a "digital ecosystem which will bring instruction at the pre-K-8 Catholic school to a new level." He noted that “It's not enough to put an iPad in a child's hands — that child needs to know how to adapt to different technology.” He went on to acknowledge numerous distinguished guests in attendance including former OLPH Principal Mrs. Nancy Malloy, adding that a strong sense of community is a hallmark of the school and was vital to this project coming to fruition.
Technology Director, Mrs. Tina Marcinkus shared details of the new technology curriculum. Students are learning how to create a website, use productivity software, learn computer programming, and utilize various educational sites for classroom projects. They receive instruction in the iLC during their dedicated technology class as well as from their classroom teachers who incorporate multimedia into the general curriculum. The new set up allows for dual-projection, video recording, conferencing, and chat capability, iPad Mini integration, and Apple TV in select classrooms. Mrs. Marcinkus enthusiastically shared that, “One of the many benefits of the iLC is seeing how technology helps students become problem solvers.”
“Today is a milestone.” Mrs. Jodi Phelan, Director of Development began her remarks, adding, “If there is one word to describe our sentiment today, it would be gratitude. We are very blessed and grateful for the tremendous support of the OLPH community and the strong leadership of Fr. Arnold and Mr. Pellechia.”
The school’s new Reading Resource Room will be named after the Sliker family, whose generous support merited this naming opportunity.
Fourth-grader, Martin Raborn had the honor of cutting the ribbon to unveil the donor recognition plaque which listed individuals, local businesses, families, and corporate benefactors. The school raised $175,000 toward the project this year, including a $65,000 grant from the Marion I. and Henry J. Knott Foundation.