Paperless Classroom

Helping Students with Special Needs

It was difficult for children with disabilities at the Toulouse Lautrec School near Paris to carry heavy bags and books to and from school every day. Many had other special needs in the classroom that made it difficult to turn pages, write reports and take notes on what they read on the blackboard.

The Lions Step In

“We decided to do something related to education to help the students with disabilities,” says Bruno Theoul of the St. Cloud-Garches-Vaucresson Lions Club. So they asked school administrators what Lions could do that would make a real difference in the education and lives of the students. The school said that Lions could provide important new technology that would make learning easier but that “it would be a little expensive,” says Armand Nedjib of the St. Cloud-Garches-Vaucresson Lions Club. The Lions raised money from their club, nearby clubs and the French Lions Clubs Foundation. Then they secured a matching grant from Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) to set up a paperless classroom.

Everyone Wins

In the paperless classroom, every student has a computer as well as sophisticated devices that adapt to their abilities and skills. What teachers write on a special board is linked to the students’ computers so that they don’t have to take notes. Teachers can also record lessons so students can listen to them on headphones and read along on their computers. Students plug a flash drive into their computers and at the end of the day they download assignments and other class material to take home to use on their own computers. Since they also have their books available to use on their home computers, there are no heavy bags to lug around – an important change for youngsters in wheelchairs or using devices to help them walk.

Partnerships

The St. Cloud-Garches-Vaucresson Lions Club partnered with other clubs and both the French Lions Foundation and LCIF to maximize available resources.


Location: Vaucresson, France
Vaucresson, France

Tips and Tools

Make It Happen: How to plan a project to help kids with special needs

Why did the club decide on this project? »
We wanted to improve the education and lives of children with disabilities.
Where did you start? »
We talked to the school about what we could do to help these children. Although the technological innovations were expensive, they have had a great impact on the students and even on their teachers.
How do you fund the project? »
Our club raised money and secured funds from nearby clubs. Then we got money from the French Lions Foundation. Finally we wrote a proposal and secured a generous grant from LCIF.
How long did it take? »
It took less than three years from dream to reality.
Any special words of advice? »
Find out what is needed most and see how Lions can help fill those needs. Then see what more Lions can do. With support from IBM, Lions inaugurated four new paperless classrooms at the school in late 2008.

"The main objective is to help our students be autonomous. And for the teachers it’s interesting because they can think of new ways to teach."

Bernadette Pudelko,
Headmaster, Toulouse Lautrec School

"We see the children grow in maturity and in confidence and in smiles."

Bruno Theol,
St. Cloud-Garches-Vaucresson Lions Club

"It gives us joy to see these youngsters. Every time I come here some of the youngsters smile and say, ‘He’s one of the Lions that helped us.’ I’m proud to be a Lion — very proud."

Armand Nejib,
St. Cloud-Garches-Vaucresson Lions Club

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