ONTARIO—Students at the Western Treasure Valley Boys and Girls Club have a new learning gadgets thanks to a donation of 14 Google Nexus tablets from Telmate, a Fruitland-based company that creates secure technology for inmates.
The tablets were donated in early October, according to the Western Treasure Valley Boys and Girls Club Executive Director Matt Sorensen.
“They were refurbished tablets,” Sorensen said. “They got them up and running, and they were gifted to us.”
The tablets are part of Telmate’s community outreach program, The Math Masters, which helps area youths achieve success in school and lay a foundation for a successful life. The Math Masters initiative uses a program on the tablet named eCarrot.
“eCarrot locks down the tablet for only the math practice, and then you earn points,” Sorensen explained. “Points are cashed in to play games on the tablet.”
Game time is accrued while students do math problems on the tablet and can be cashed in at any time.
“They’ll accrue 20 or 30 minutes, and they can enjoy playing with the time they’ve earned,” Sorensen said. “The kids are excited about it and are doing math problems for 30 minutes and having fun with it.”
Sorensen explained the end result is a child who is doing age-appropriate, basic math problems at will because they are excited about playing those other games while they’re learning.
The eCarrot app is available on Android devices and on Google Play and can be downloaded for free from the Google Play store. It is currently not available on iOS devices, but it may be available for iPhone users soon, according to the eCarrot website.
“The software locks down the tablet and when they earn the time they can go play the games,” Sorensen said. “Parents can do it at home. It’s a simple and ingenious idea.”
The donation of the tablets is one of the many new additions to the Western Treasure Valley Boys and Girls Club. Local resident Wayne Frey donated the materials for a soccer field in early September.
In addition to the soccer field, the building was painted last week thanks to a $20,000 grant through the Child and Adult Care Food Program. Northwest Specialty Painting, located in Nyssa, took on the project, and Ernie Alger supplied some of the painters.