Scottsdale Charros pay for tech tools in evolving 21st Century classrooms

From left are Hopi Elementary School Principal  Lori Colling and Scottsdale Charro Ryan Spiekerman.

Hopi Elementary School Principal Lori Colling and Scottsdale Charro Ryan Spiekerman. (Photo: Beth Burnett)

Scottsdale Unified School District elementary schools have gained a technological shot in the arm thanks to a $50,000 Charro Foundation grant program.

The Scottsdale Charros provided a $12,500 check to four Scottsdale Schools at the January Governing Board meeting in support of the education of new technology within local classrooms.

During that meeting, the following schools each received a grant:

  • Hohokam Traditional for a mobile laptop lab.
  • Hopi Elementary for Google Chromebooks for their computer science program.
  • Pima Elementary for the Do the Math Program and books for professional development and book study.
  • Tonalea Elementary for Google Chromebooks and a laptop cart.

Scottsdale Charro Ryan Spiekerman, who serves as the current Charro Education Committee chairman, says these schools did an impressive job outlining how the dollars would be used effectively in the classroom.

“While there were many worthy recipients, these schools obviously did their research,” he said “The recipients’ applications were very well constructed. Need always is a major consideration, however, with so much need we try to identify schools that will utilize these grants in a way that will positively impact our students.”

Mr. Spiekerman says the Charros want to make sure young Scottsdale students get an opportunity to get on board with technology as it evolves.

“There is no way to stop technological advancement,” he pointed out.

“I remember helping my family setting up our VCR in the 1980s. Now my 10-year-old is telling me how to code. I barely know what that means — actually I have no idea — not only is technology a good thing, but it is necessity.”

The education grant program speaks to the mission of the Scottsdale Charros, Mr. Spiekerman contends.

“This embodies who we are,” he explained of the Charros mission. “We raise money through several fundraising events throughout the year, primarily through spring training, and when I’m able to give a check to one of our schools or teachers it reminds me why we do what we do.”

Scottsdale Schools Superintendent Dr. David Peterson says the district is fortunate to have community partners like the Scottsdale Charros.

“The Charros recently awarded Hohokam Traditional, Hopi Elementary, Pima Elementary and Tonalea Elementary schools $12,500 education grants,” he said. “This is the fourth year that the Charros have awarded the grants which make a great impact at the schools.”

Dr. Peterson contends the Scottsdale Charros have given local students new tools for success.

“Technology is a tool that allows students to work collaboratively, solve problems, demonstrate learning, gather critical information, and communicate,” he said. The Charros provide vital support for our students and employees. We are so appreciative of their support.”

Northeast Valley Managing Editor Terrance Thornton can be contacted at

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