- Associated Press - Thursday, August 20, 2015

NANWALEK, Alaska (AP) - Students in the Kenai Peninsula town of Nanwalek are using iPads as part of a nationwide initiative to connect schools in economically-challenged areas with technology.

Nanwalek students were each given their own iPad Tuesday through the White House’s ConnectEd Initiative, according to KTUU-TV (https://bit.ly/1K7MQt7). The tablets were part of a grant from Apple.

“I think this will set things on fire,” said principal Nancy Kleine. “We’ll be able to ignite their excitement about learning.”

Nanwalek is the only school in Alaska to receive the grant, though schools across the country will be a part of similar projects.

Students were excited to receive their new iPads. Sixth-grader Tikhon Avasnikoff had a few choice adjectives for them.

“(They) help kids want to learn and me because iPads are cool, and fun and awesome,” Avasnikoff said.

Nanwalek is off the road system and many students participate in a subsistence lifestyle. School officials said they hope the extra technology will help to bring students out of that isolation.

“They are in an isolated place geographically. iPads are going to help them transcend that isolation,” Kleine said.

For Avasnikoff, the iPads are a point of pride.

“Made me feel good about my school and my community,” Avasnikoff said, “and I was really happy, proud of all my friends and my community and myself.”

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Information from: KTUU-TV, https://www.ktuu.com

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