These laptops are old and dusty, but thanks to local business man, Sun Kwok, they’re now an opportunity for students in need.
It’s all part of the District 204 computer redeployment program, which aims to get technology to students whose families can’t afford to have computers at home. The plan relies on student volunteers who use their “fix it” skills to give old computers new life.
“The project is a lot of fun for the kids as you can tell they’re running around, there’s a lot of energy, they’re having a good time and they get to work on computers and get to help their fellow students at the same time,” said President of Integral Corporation, Sun Kwok.
Kwok began the program in District 203 back in 2008, expanding to District 204 one year later with the help of the Indian Prairie Educational Foundation.
“The foundation really served as a conduit to kind of propel that along. We provided the funding for that, but its also a place where someone had an idea and how do you bring community, the school district together and then it’s the students, it’s every piece of that and I really like that and we’re proud we can be apart of that,” said Susan Rasmus, Executive Director of Indian Prairie Educational Foundation.
The student volunteers take many steps to make sure the computers are in good working condition.
“The USBS hold the program files that wipe all of everything off the computers, they wipe the connection servers to the 204 office, and once they have that in there they make sure everything is running nicely, the hard drives aren’t failing, and then we test them one more time and make sure everything works out correctly and then we pair them up with a power cable and then they are sent off,” said Laura Mishell, Computer Redeployment Program Volunteer.
The goal for this year’s program was to refurbish more than 500 laptops, so that kids in need can have computers at home and keep up with their peers.
“Its very important for kids to know about technology to get a job, or at least be comfortable, you don’t have to be an expert, just be comfortable- and when your fellow students are around you and they have this technology and you don’t have it, it doesn’t make you feel that good. It’s very important that we make every kid feel like they’re a valued part of our school system,” said Kwok.
Since the computer redeployment program started in 2009, they’ve refurbished over 1,200 computers for others in need.
The program hopes to get the refurbished computers out to the students in time for this school year, which starts on August 26th.
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