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Aug 6, 2019 2:29 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Springs School Gets A $50,000 Boost From The State

Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. presented Springs School with a $50,000 check on Monday. From left to right; School Board president, Barbara Dayton, board member Patrick Brabant, Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. and Superintendent Debra Winter.  ELIZABETH VESPE
Aug 6, 2019 2:34 PM

The Springs School District was one of the few districts this year that received additional state funding through a program called “bullet aid.”

On Monday, in the school’s library, State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. presented an oversized $50,000 check to the Springs School. Dozens of children, who’d prepared thank-you cards and posters, greeted Mr. Thiele.

Bullet aid is an additional amount of funding that the state approves, Mr. Thiele explained, and that doesn’t flow through traditional state aid. The money is only given to certain schools when the state feels they need targeted extra funding for programs to benefit the students.

One of the programs the aid will go toward funding is the Springs School’s robotics team, which just finished its second year.

In 2017, the school introduced its very first Lego robotics league, made up of nine fifth-graders who met during seventh period on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. At first, the small team used Lego building blocks to construct miniature devices and design, build and program their own mini robots to operate each of the small Lego contraptions.

During the 2018-19 school year, the club became extremely popular — nearly tripling in size and prompting the creation of two more teams.

Mr. Thiele told the students that his sons, Michael and Jeffrey, were on the robotics team throughout their time at Pierson High School in Sag Harbor.

“This year, after meeting with the School Board and superintendent, they identified needs that I brought back to Albany,” Mr. Thiele said while handing the check to Superintendent Debra Winter. “It’ll all be going to student-based programs, which is terrific.”

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