Two Mint Hill schools received the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Innovation for Transformation grants. The music department at Mint Hill Middle School and the kindergarten classes at Bain Elementary School are recipients of the grant, which provides iPads for 21st century classroom instruction. The grant was initiated by Dr. Scott Muri, the former CMS Chief Information Officer. Mint Hill Middle’s music department includes band director Amy Medlin, chorus teacher Crystal Liachoff, and orchestra teacher Megan Morris. Each teacher will receive an iPad along with 10 for the classroom, for a total of 33. The team worked together to write the grant, in which they explained the iPads would allow students to “listen and see music.” The instruction with iPads will support the school improvement plan, which addresses reading and math scores. The teachers explained music is a technical language. It also requires math skills for subdividing rhythms and recognizing fractions of a beat. “It will provide visual aid for listening as well as musical anaylsis,” said Medlin. Medlin has been researching musical apps for the iPads, looking for pianos, metronomes, tuners, and Garage Band. The kindergarten teachers at Bain Elementary have been researching educational apps as well, focusing on science, math, literature, and phonics. Tracey Leaver, Janet Barnhardt, Kimberly Hartis, Jaclyn Hribar, Michelle Kane, Caitlin Placke, and Stephanie Van Horn worked together to write their grant application. The total number of iPads awarded to the kindergarten team is 77—that’s one per teacher and 10 per classroom. Leaver said the iPads will allow for collaborative, small-group learning. It will assist with guided reading for students at different reading levels. “We just feel giving them ownership over their own learning is key,” said Leaver. She strongly believes that technology plays a positive role in young students’ learning. There were 970 applications from 153 schools in Mecklenburg County. More than 3,900 iPads were granted to 73 schools. Teachers will receive their iPads before this school year ends, and they will attend training this summer on how to utilize these tools for education.