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The parents of several Bandys High School students have assumed a role similar to a genie in a magical lamp.
Principal Todd Black says the parents have twice asked the school to compile a list of wishes. And the parents, who asked to remain anonymous, have returned twice to grant those wishes â€” donating a plethora of laptops, desktops, Nook e-reader devices and more.
"They've said they've been blessed," Black said. "I guess the philanthropic heart is one who gives because they enjoy giving. They check in from time to time about what we need and never ask for anything in return."
Recently, the parents granted a Bandys leadership team's technology wishes with 100 Nooks, nearly 90 laptops and plans to supply 30 iPads.
Last school year, a Bandys leadership team compiled a wish list that included laptops, a portable sound system, 10 desktop computers and outdoor lighting for the school's softball field. A week later, the parents notified Black that all those wishes would come true.
"I could just about have to be picked up off the floor," Black said.
"(The parents) are what you would consider an angel. It's that kind of community. They're a big donor, but there are a lot of parents and members of this community who donate, too."
Bandys teachers say the laptops better engage students and make lessons more interesting.
"Here at Bandys, you can almost always always get what you need as far as technology goes," said Cathy Hirsch, a family consumer science teacher. "It's nice to have the computers available."
Hirsch's advanced foods class used a set of the newest laptops Monday to create brochures about potential food hazards. Junior Brittany Davis said access to classroom computers helps students research topics for assignments.
"The computers are something we've got to be thankful for," said senior Jordan Linebarger. "A lot of kids don't have them at school."
Black said the new laptops will help his school as the state begins requiring more standardized tests to be taken online in the 2012-13 school year.
He also said all teachers now have access to laptops for use at home and in the classroom. In a poor economy where teachers haven't received raises in several years, the new technology helps improve staff morale, he said.
"There's an expectation that teachers use technology in the classroom," Black said.
"Now you can go into just about every classroom here at Bandys and find it. It's incredible, the effectiveness of those laptops in the classroom. In the 21st century, you have to have those skills."