2005 Award Winners
Intel and Scholastic Schools of Distinction Awards
Literacy Achievement
Auburn Early Education Center

Auburn Early Education Center
Auburn, Ala.

School Statistics
Total Enrollment: 433
Type of School: Public
Location/Size of School: Midsize City School
Receive Free/Reduced Lunch: 30%
Student-Teacher Ratio: 19:1

Computer technology helps this school’s youngsters excel beyond expectations of early childhood parameters. Although there are just three computers in each classroom, and one of them is dedicated to teachers, the kids still get a tremendous amount out of technology. For instance, each child gets an e-mail account so that he or she can e-mail Mom and Dad as well as teachers throughout the building. Lilli Land, Auburn’s Principal, says the excitement on the faces of the kids when they get and send mail is wonderful—despite the phonetic spelling and simplicity of the messages.

Each day, kids also work on composition books around a particular theme. One popular theme is the virtual trip. Last year, for instance, one of the “pods,” or classrooms, decided to go to Australia.  Auburn students also use video and digital cameras to extend their learning, creating digital-process books that give step-by-step instructions on complicated projects and even becoming mini-documentarians.

The school has a computer lab where students work on phonics software such as Earobics and other reading and writing programs once a week. It’s all geared toward one message, and that message has very little to do with correct pencil holding or letter formation. “We want the child to know: What I think, I can write down, and what I write down, other people can read,” Land says.